Richmond star Dustin Martin has remained largely unaffected by speculation over his chances of winning the Brownlow Medal, according to teammate Brandon Ellis.
Martin’s career-best form has been a key factor in the Tigers’ recent resurgence and has seen him touted as a genuine rival for Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield for this year’s Brownlow.
“It’s not spoken about around the club at all,” Ellis said of the hype around Martin’s form.
“It’s always in the papers and you see it on social media, but he doesn’t take any notice of that at all.
“(But) he’s been in awesome form this year, hasn’t he? He’s just taken his game to a new level. He’s a lot fitter than what he has been … I think that’s why he’s playing the footy that he’s been playing.”
Richmond face Port Adelaide in a must-win game at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
The Tigers and the Power are in a group of five teams sitting two games outside the eight with 6-7 win-loss records.
The winner of Friday night’s clash will keep their faint finals hopes alive, while the loser will fall behind the chasing pack in the run to the September.
The high-stakes contest promises to be another chapter in a growing rivalry between the clubs.
“What they did to us in the final … we didn’t really like that,” Ellis said, referring to his side’s humbling elimination final loss to Port at the same venue in 2014.
“And we’ve got a lot of coaches at Richmond who played for Port Adelaide … there’s a lot of history between the two clubs. It’s going to be a good contest.
“There’s been a bit of niggle every time we’ve played them, but that’s footy.”