Matthew White, the newest addition to Richmond’s list, was an outstanding junior athlete.  He won the Victorian Schoolboys Under 15 Cross Country Championship and the Under 16 and Under 17 Vic Schoolboys 400m championships.  He also represented Vic Primary Schools and Vic Secondary Schools at the Cross Country national titles in Darwin and Perth.


Football wise Matt won consecutive RDJFL Best and Fairest at Under 13 and Under 14, after coming third at Under 11 and second at Under 12. He captained the RDJFL Under 15 side in Sydney and during the metro champs.  He represented Victoria at Under 15 and Under 16 levels.


As a 17 year old Matt was a member of the Calder Cannons team that won the TAC Cup Premiership.


Matt had a restricted season for the Cannons in 2005, missing several games with a cracked tibia.  Unfortunately for Matt he was unable to play for the Vic Metro side, which he’d been selected for.  He also missed playing in the Cannon’s first two finals.  Despite his setbacks in 2005 Matt still finished in a high position in both the Cannons Best and Fairest award and the Morrish Medal.  Not having his skills shown in the Carnival was probably a blessing in disguise for Richmond because it’s more than likely if he was on show Matt might have been drafter a lot earlier.


Being a lifelong Richmond supporter Matt’s dreams came true when he was drafted to play at Tigerland. 


His Grandfather had a Richmond jumper on Matt’s dad Peter when he was 3 days old and had the same jumper on baby Matt as soon as he got a chance.


Matt’s maternal Grandfather played for Collingwood seconds in the late 40’s so it’s a great effort Matt was able to escape the clasp of a family of staunch Pies to barrack for the Tiges.


Matthew’s parents were married on a day Richmond thrashed Collingwood by 54 points.  The right stars must have been in alignment for Matt to play for his beloved Tigers.

Matthew kindly agreed to answer some questions for posters from PuntRoadEnd website.


As a long time Tiger supporter, which past and current players for the RFC have been your favourite?

When I first started playing at the age of 9 I wore the number 12 because of how much I liked Richo (sorry mate).  I also liked watching players like Matthew Knights, Wayne Campbell and Brendan Gale who were my boyhood heroes and Richo still is.

Tigers Of Old

What position do you feel you play your best football?

I think I'm more relaxed and in control of my own game when I'm on the back flank. But I think on the ball is where I play a bit better just with my run. But there is a strong group of mid fielders in the club so half back would be nice.


 Which current player in the AFL do you see your game as similar too & would try to emulate the career of?

    Down at the club now I'm more trying to emulate Kane Johnson and Joel Bowden. Just the work rate of both players is amazing. Kane an on-baller and Joel a running back man.  I think I can learn a lot from both players so I will just try and do the things they do and hopefully some of their skills and wisdom will rub off on me. 


How did you feel after not being drafted?

Pretty disappointed but thought it would go that way. Just with missing out on the National carnival and other injuries put me down the ranks a bit.

How’s the body after plenty of injuries?

    The body is feeling good now. Nothing wrong for the moment and hopefully it stays that way. Just as long as I keep doing everything the medical staff tell me I think I should be ok.

What round will you debut for the mighty Tiges this year?

I'd like to play round 1. Just the crowd will be strong and it will be a massive buzz. But either round 1 or 21 I don't mind.


With all the injuries you’ve suffered in the past few years, how did you keep a positive outlook?

Um personally I'm not too sure. I think it was being at the Cannons which help me a lot. With Shaun Huy out for a year with a knee my injuries seemed a bit insignificant. So I learned from that not to give up and of course family and friends help a lot to.


What extra work did you do in the hope of getting noticed and recruited?

With the injuries I couldn't do a lot on the track to impress but I like to think all the weights I did when I wasn't able to play. Just trying to be that little bit stronger.


Gday Matt, Welcome to Tigerland.
What were your feelings if or when you knew you’d be drafted?

When I found out it was more shock. Talking to Greg Miller I thought he was saying that I would be rookied so that was a buzz and I was pretty exited but when I was drafted I was shocked for 3 weeks till the Christmas break. But its settled in now and I'm just loving it down here.


Have you made any good friendships with any of the other Richmond players? If so who and why do you get on so well with them.

I'm mainly hanging round with the other first year draft picks and the rookies. Cleve Hughes, Trav Casserley and Angus Graham are the blokes I spend most time with. I think I get along with them best just because were all new and learning a lot and I played footy with Gus with the Cannons so we've been mates for a few years.



Has Terry indicated what role he envisages you playing for the Tiges?

I haven't really spoken to him about that stuff as yet but I should have a bit of an indication by the end of the month I hope.


You’ve been dominating the distance runs since arriving.  What’s your fastest time around the tan?

So far its a 13 minute and 14 second run but hopefully over the next few years if I'm still there I can break into the 12 min. 


 Other than Aussie Rules which other sports did you enjoy most when growing up and did you ever consider a professional career in anything other than footy?

   I played cricket mainly and a year of baseball and athletics with the school. I never thought I'd start a career in baseball and cricket. My father was the cricketer and I'm the footballer. But in younger years, when I didn't know what I was going to do when I was growing up, athletics was on the cards and then I found it boring being an individual sport.


What is your nickname and have the players christened you with a new one since arriving?

No new nickname. Just whitey but Angus might be trying to start a nickname Danny Sexton, assistant coach of the Cannons, and my school teacher gave me and we'll leave it at that.


Which position did you play most at the Cannons?  Which position do you prefer to play?

    My first year I played more as a half back and a relief on-baller and my second year it was more an on-baller who could go down back if need be. I prefer back line if I'm having an off day but always love being in the guts.


Balmy Army
What is your current height and weight?

179cm and around 78kg.

 Do you have a past player as a mentor?  If so, who?

At the moment I'm unsure who it is.  Every player has one but I don't know mine yet.

Where you surprised to not be selected in the National Draft, and were you aware of Richmond's interest in you in the Pre-season draft?

Yes and no with the draft. I thought I had a good chance but also injury didn't help me. I wasn't aware of the pre-season interest but I was aware of the rookie.

 Do you expect to play senior football this year?

    I would like to think I would but it really depends what Terry and the other coaches and selectors think.

 How have all the new boys settled in, considering 3 are from interstate?

    Um pretty good so far. They don't really talk about it and I cant really think what there going through. But they're training stronger and I'm sure they're loving it down here as much as I am.


Matt, what were your early boyhood football experiences, and what factors influenced you to become serious about your football?
Starting out football wasn't serious. I always tried to play for fun. I've found that if your not having fun, footy isn't enjoyable. Saying that around the age 14, 15 it became a little more serious and when I started with state teams and the Calder Cannons.

Your TAC football has been with the Calder Cannons at a time when the club has been very successful.
a) What factors have made the club so successful?
Just the way the coaches, staff, management conducted themselves. Everything was very professional a lot like the Tigers.

b) Who and what were your influences at the club?
All the players, coaches, medical staff. anyone and everyone down there I played for. The Cannons is a footy family. But Robert Hyde, Calder's coach, is a massive influence just in his playing history and the way he coaches.

c) Who were the players, at Calder, that were the standouts, either by way of ability and performance, niceness, or amusement?
There were a lot of blokes who would make me laugh. Shaun Huy, Jackson Barling and of course Eddie Betts. But the guys down there with the ability were the likes of Brock McLean, Ben Jolly, Adam Bentick and Jimmy Ezard so those last listed player were the guys I really looked up to.

d) What were your achievements at the Cannons?
Winning my first football premiership. Going to the Cannons I had only played in one grand final and we lost by 4 points when I was paying for Sunbury Under 16s as a 15 year old. So I think that's my biggest and the achievement I will always remember.

You've had some injuries over the last few years. What have they been? Where are these now? What preventative measures do you take now?
Yeah I've had a few injuries. Ankle rolls, shoulder strains, torn cartilage in my knee and a small fracture in my tibia. So yes I've had a few for a young fella, but all the advice the doctors and physio's told me I took on board and did as much as I could so I could play sooner rather then later. At the moment I'm injury free and training strongly so hopefully I can continue this in the season but you never know what's around the corner so I try not to think about it.

 Is there an AFL club that you've had a connection with, through your boyhood? Which club? What's the connection?
 Well all the fans will be happy I'm a Tigers supporter since my old man put me in the yellow and black at a few months old. So no real connection there but I like to think that. But my grandfather played a few games with Collingwood so a bit of a connection there but I don't think about that too much now and I don't think he does either.

5. What are the goals that have been set down between you and the RFC for 2006 and 2007?
At the moment nothing has been set I will have a chat with the coaching staff some time before the end of the week and from there I'll know what the club want and think will be happening with me. Personally I'd like to get a game or two this year but will have to wait and see.

Where did you go to school - meaning where did you play most of your school footy?

I went to Sunbury College and then for years 11 and 12 I was at Essendon Keilor College. Sunbury in the younger levels weren't massive on footy but EKC were with the Herald Sun Shield.

Were you a 'star' at school footy, how did you go academically?

I wouldn't say star at school footy just played the same as I would on the weekend. Academically I passed year 12 and its all behind me now. Just happy I finished.

For all the younger people out there, how hard was it to go through from juniors up to the level you at at now?

Very hard on me and my family. Training all over the place and games all over the place was very hard and something I needed my family's help with. But my family have been awesome and help me out with everything. But for all the younger boys and girls playing footy never give up and work as hard as you can and you'll see some good results as I now have to opportunity to.

What was your progression from juniors to now? (With emphasis on getting into the Calder Cannons).

Started with Sunbury Lions till I started playing some practice matches with the Cannons. Some rep games with the league, RDJFL. Played a few games there as a 16 year old and played there as a 17 and 18 year old and now at the tigers.

Any tips for young blokes?

Work hard never give up. Coming through Sunbury my team wasn't the best but I never gave up and tried my best all the time and look where that's got me.

What's it like training at the moment?

Very hard hours to get used to and very hard training. Going from two sessions a week to around 18 a week is very solid but I'm loving it. Fittest I've ever been.

Are you amongst the fastest around the 'tan'? Where did you come compared to Hyde and Johnno?

I actually beat Hyde and Johnno so I'm up there. But that's just running.

You are number 35 - are you happy with that? Do you have a preferred number? Do you think it will be hard to live up to the work that Chris Newman did with that number?

I didn't really mind what number I got. A number is a number. Yes Chris has a good history in it as well as Bondy but I don't think I should be judged by what Chris had done and how he played in it. Ill try and make the number 35 my own and play the best I can in it. 

Where do you like to play? What do you think are your strengths, and more importantly, what are your weaknesses and how are you addressing them.

I personally think my weakness is kicking on the run. I can spray a few kicks so I'm trying to do a bit more skill work on that. Position wise I'd like to play down back or on ball just so I can get the ball and run but we'll wait and see what Terry and the boys want.

From Trapped's sister

  Do you have a girl friend? Do you have any mates who need girlfriends? :-)

I don't have a girlfriend and I do have a few mates in Sunbury who need girl friends.

What's your favourite joke to play on a teammate and was it
appreciated - and what's the worst joke played on you?

I'm not the prankster really so nothing either way yet and hopefully it can stay that way.


Do you own a car? If so, what colour/make/model?
I do I wish I didn't sometimes. Its an red 82 Toyota Celica

Do you live with your parents, or have they kicked you out yet? :-)

No I live with my parents still but I wouldn't  mind them kicking me out sometimes.


For the younger fans - Ten Favourites
1-Food and drink     
 Food. Mum's lasagna. Drink. Traditional lemonade

2-Holiday destination    
Grandparents old farm in Mansfield.

Anything with a drum beat.

Holden Maloo or Storm ute.

Basketball, Team America and Orgasmo. Same guys in all films 

6-Chocolate bar        
Cherry Ripe

7-Leisure pastime        
Playing golf watching movies and playing video games.

8-Training routine        
Get there early and go hard shower afterwards.


Shorts, thongs and t-shirts.
10-Hair do        
What ever happens when I put products in it.


Thanks for your interest I hope I can live up to your expectations.



Richmond in their blood

Matty's father Peter sitting on Tommy Hafey's knee at the 1965 AGM with his grandfather Joe beside him.  Tommy had just been introduced as the new coach of the Tigers.