St. Kilda FC
Born: 17 October 1982
Recruited from: Southport
Draft Details: Selection #1 (1st round) 2000 National Draft
AFL Debut: Rd 15 2001 – St.Kilda v Adelaide, Telstra Dome (13 July)
Jumper Number: 12
AT A GLANCE: The Gold Coast’s glamour boy of the AFL and Queensland’s only No.1 draft pick, Riewoldt is a Broadbeach junior and Southport senior product who has evolved into a genuine AFL superstar from the most unlikely of beginnings. Born in Tasmania, where he is family is something of a football institution, he moved to the Gold Coast aged 10 and didn’t take up football seriously until age 13, preferring soccer in his youth. But he’s more than made up for lost time. A star for Queensland at the 2000 Australian U18 Championships and an AFLQ premiership player with the Sharks in the same year, he was tagged the No.1 junior in the country when drafted by the Saints at No.1 in the 2000 AFL National Draft.
Even before he’d played a game he was a champion in the making, lumbered with lofty expectation when described in the 2001 AFL Guide as “expected to be the future of St.Kilda’. It was a massive statement, and a correct one. After an injury-plagued first year which restricted him to just six AFL games he’s more than made up for lost time. And that after a 97-point loss to Adelaide on debut on Friday 13 July. He’s been a regular match-winner in recent seasons, and when he added the 2007 St Kilda B&F to those he won in 2002-04-06 he equaled the record of dual Brownlow Medalist Robert Harvey and 1920’s star Bill Cubbins – at age 25.
Among other plaudits, he won the AFL Rising Star Award in 2002, was All-Australian in 2004-06, won the AFLPA MVP in 2004, was equal 7th in the Brownlow Medal in 2004, represented Australia in International Rules in 2004, was a member of St.Kilda’s Pre-Season Premiership side in 2004, and was captain at 22 in 2005 and co-captain in 2007.From 2001-07 he finished 3rd-2nd-2nd-3rd-2nd-1st in St.Kilda goal-kicking, and he took most marks in the competition in 2002-2004-2006. In 2004 he took 256 marks in the home-and-away season – 64 more than anyone else in the League. Twice he has kicked nine goals in a game – against Melbourne in round 15 2004 and Carlton in round 8 2006 – and twice he has topped 50 goals in a season – 67 in 2004 and 60 in 2006.
He played three complete seasons in 2002-03-04 and on a year-by-year basis since debut his debut in 2001 has played 6-22-22-25-16-23-20 games for 2-21-30-67-33-60-42 goals. A key forward with the running power of a midfielder, he has been a standout performer on and off the field, establishing real celebrity status among the football capital of Melbourne without ever losing touch with friends, family and football at ‘home’. Was named captain of the Queensland Team of the Year in 2007, chosen for the first time on State of Origin guidelines.