Richardson And Mitchell To Lead The Tigers

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 10:03 AM

By Ken Casellas

Dynamic Claremont footballers Ian Richardson and Kane Mitchell have been appointed co-captains of the Tigers for the 2019 season. And brilliant high-marking forward Tom Lee has been chosen as vice-captain.

Teammates in Claremont’s WAFL premiership triumphs in 2011 and 2012, they have set the standard throughout their decorated careers for dedication, professionalism and unwavering determination on the field of battle.

Richardson (31), a skilful left-footer, has booted 401 goals in 206 WAFL matches. He has also represented the Tigers in four Foxtel Cup matches and has shone in six appearances for Western Australia in interstate contests and was awarded the Simpson Medal for the State’s best player in the 2008 match against Queensland. He also won the E. B. Cook Medal as Claremont’s fairest-and-best league player in 2008.

Mitchell (29), a hard-running and creative midfielder, won the Cook Medal and the Sandover Medal in 2012 before playing 35 AFL matches for Port Adelaide in the following four seasons. Then, after a year off, travelling the world in 2017, Mitchell returned to the Tigers and was a diving force throughout the 2018 season.

Lee (28) has scored 135 goals in 71 league matches for Claremont and another 15 goals in six Foxtel Cup contests, including his best-on-ground performance of six majors in the Cup final demolition of Werribee in 2012.

He ended the 2018 season in superb form with five goals against East Perth in the WAFL elimination final and four against West Perth in the first semi-final.

Lee was drafted by the Adelaide Crows in 2007, but did not make an AFL appearance for them in 2008 before returning to Claremont. He was recruited by St Kilda, but injuries restricted him to 17 AFL matches for the Saints in 2013-14-15-16.

The appointment of Richardson and Mitchell as co-captains for this year marks the first time in Claremont’s 94-year history that two men have been chosen to lead the side from the start of a season.

In 1935, Charlie Parsons, a former Carlton VFL player and vice-captain of South Australia when playing for Sturt, was appointed captain-coach of Claremont. But he was ruled ineligible to play until June 27 because of residential qualifications. The side was led for the first ten rounds of the season by vice-captain Bob Moloney before Parsons made his debut on a half-back flank on June 29 when Claremont beat Perth (then known as Victoria Park) by 22 points at the WACA Ground.

Parsons then lined up on a half-forward flank and then in a back pocket in losing matches against South Fremantle and East Perth. But he then resigned and was replaced as coach by Jackie Hooper and as captain by Moloney. In the dark days after the great depression of the early 1930s, Parsons got a job running a tea rooms and he left with Claremont’s best wishes.

In 1960, Ray Richards was Claremont’s captain-coach, but a serious knee injury forced him to quit after playing in nine matches. Kevin Clune was then elevated to the captaincy, with Denis Marshall as his deputy.

Lorne Cook was Claremont’s captain in 1972 and after playing in his seventh match for the season he was forced to retire from football after a magnificent career of 229 league matches for the Tigers. Cook tore his Achilles tendon in the final quarter of a match against East Perth at Perth Oval and star rover Bruce Duperouzel took over as captain.

Talented forward Joe Smith was Claremont’s captain in 1996, but missed the final stages of the season after being badly concussed. The club then named Jeremy Guard as captain.

In 2012, Andrew Browne was Claremont’s captain, but injuries restricted him to seven matches. Vice-captain Luke Blackwell then took over the leadership and was in charge when the Tigers defeated East Fremantle in the grand final. However, Blackwell was never officially named as club captain in that year.