Richmond have re-signed two of their premiership heroes, Jacob Townsend and Jason Castagna, while they have also locked in the services of VFL best and fairest winner Anthony Miles for next season.
Townsend came from nowhere late in the season to be an important goalkicker for the Tigers while Castagna played every game in 2017 as one of Richmond’s diminutive but crucial high pressuring forwards.
Miles, 25, only played five AFL games in 2017 and had considered leaving the club to seek more opportunities.
However on Monday the club announced Miles had signed a one-year contract extension, along with Townsend and Castagna who signed for one and two more years respectively.
“Anthony is highly regarded by his teammates and the club as a whole,” Richmond’s general manager of football talent Dan Richardson said.
“His strong work ethic, contested ball-winning ability and commitment to the team are second to none. Despite limited opportunities in 2017, he is a proven AFL player, who will continue to make a significant contribution to the club.”
Miles, a ball-winning midfielder, was integral to the Richmond VFL side’s runner-up finish in 2017.
Townsend, who played for the GWS Giants between 2012 and 2015, didn’t play his first game in 2017 until round 22.
From that game to the grand final the 24-year-old kicked 16 goals, including two in the Tigers’ drought-breaking premiership triumph over Adelaide.
“Jacob played a significant role for the team in all our finals games, none more so than the grand final. He is a strong competitor and, having found his niche up forward, we expect he will continue to build on this in 2018 and beyond,” Richardson said.
Castagna, who was drafted by the Tigers from the Northern Knights in the 2015 rookie draft, kicked 26 goals in 2017 but more importantly was part of the club’s mosquito-fleet forward line that harassed and wrangled opposition backline’s into submission during the year – a trademark of Richmond’s premiership winning gameplan.
Anthony Miles in action for Richmond’s VFL team in the loss to Port Melbourne Photo: AAP
“We are really pleased with Jason’s on-going development and his work-rate, both on and off the track. His pressure around the ball is a highlight and his brand of footy was very much aligned to the team success this year,” Richardson said.