Marlion Pickett has set the MCG alight on his debut. Picture: Getty Images
Marlion Pickett has set the MCG alight on his debut. Picture: Getty Images

MCG is Pickett’s Palace on grand final day

IT WAS the blind turn heard around the world.

Marlion Pickett has already justified Richmond's outrageous grand final selection with a stunning first half of AFL football.

With Richmond taking a commanding lead over GWS at half-time, Pickett wasn't just content to be a bystander in the early onslaught.

The first-gamer from South Fremantle made up for lost time by thrusting himself into the action with a handful of big plays.

Pickett's blind turn as he came out of the centre square in the second term gave him space to set up Jason Castagna's high mark inside goal range.

He missed the shot, but seconds later Pickett was flashing out of the centre and pumping the ball long to Dustin Martin.

 

 

Martin darted past his defender Sam Taylor, gathered the ground ball and snapped through his second goal for the day.

Far from scared to get involved on the big stage, Pickett looked a 200-game veteran of the AFL stage.

When Tom Lynch kicked a goal on the angle from Daniel Rioli's chiselled pass, the Tigers were 25 points up and had momentum to burn.

At that stage the Tigers had kicked five goals in a row and Pickett had 11 possessions and a hand in many of those key plays.

Later, as Richmond piled it on in the third quarter, Dustin Martin found Pickett about 30m out directly in front and the man of the moment made no mistake, perfectly piercing the big sticks for his first career goal.

It sent the Tiger Army into rapture, his teammates mobbing him in the middle of the 'G.

Pickett's had a whirlwind rise, signing a new one-year contact that will secure his future with the Tigers and welcoming a new nephew into the world this morning.

Pickett has relocated to Thornbury in Melbourne's inner north with his partner and four children.

The Tigers get around Pickett before the first bounce. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
The Tigers get around Pickett before the first bounce. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

He would be on a set wage as part of the league's collective bargaining agreement but needed the contract to help secure a lease for accommodation in Thornbury.

That new contract will allow him to not only set up his football future but his family after being secured as a star for South Fremantle in the WAFL.

His story is all the more remarkable given he spent 30 months in jail for burglary charges as a youngster.

 

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