Ever been forgotten or left out before? It’s not the best feeling is it?
So spare a thought for former Richmond player Dean Notting who was once overlooked by all three grades of Tigers coaches.
Notting signed with the club prior to the 1984 season and was a key figure in the U19s before making his senior debut late in 1985. He went back to the 19s to help them win the ’85 flag before returning to Punt Road with more senior footy on his mind.
The only problem was, nobody knew where he belonged!
Notting told the story of how Richmond’s senior coach Paul Sproule, along with the reserves and U19s coaches, simply overlooked him at the beginning of ’86.
“My first season at the club was ’84, so I played under 19s and reserves and then ’85 I played the three grades, got my couple of senior games,” Notting explained to SEN’s Bob and Andy.
“Then in ’86, I was too old for U19s and I didn’t even get a game in the reserves in the first round of the season.
“I think they’d forgotten me.
“They (the seniors) thought I was in the under 19s, and the under 19s coach thought I was in the reserves, and the reserves coach thought I was in the seniors.
“I was forgotten, I was completely left out, so I didn’t play round one. Then I asked, ‘What’s going on?, and they looked at me and said,’ Oh right, ok, we better put you in the team next week’.”
Just a few weeks later, Notting produced the best game of his Tigers career when he kicked five goals in a win over St Kilda.
But he encountered another issue in that he wasn’t even the highest goal kicker on the ground due to the presence of a Saints superstar.
“That game at the ‘G, I think every player has one purple patch sort of a game. And that was it for me, where I kicked five,” he added.
“It just happened to be that down the other end a bloke by the name of Tony Lockett kicked six so he took the honours on the day.”
Notting also recalled a particular moment in his VFL debut which came against Richmond’s fierce rivals Carlton at the MCG in Round 19, 1985.
“It was a grand stage,” he remembered.
“The thing that stuck in my memory was running onto the ground and hearing a round of applause from the Member’s Stand behind me.
“I thought, ‘What are they clapping for?’.
“Then of course it dawned on me that they knew it was my first game and they were giving me a congratulatory clap as I went on the ground. I thought that was pretty special and indicated the intelligence of the Melbourne football crowd.”
Notting played 28 games for the Tigers in the 58 jumper which remains a league record for that number.