Dustin “Dusty” Martin is a hard man to miss with his elaborate body art. But this soft spoken footballer remains intriguing to AFL followers as little is known about him and what makes him tick. Born in Castlemaine, Victoria, to an Australian mother and a Maori father, Martin played football for Castlemaine in the Bendigo Football League. He left school in Year Nine and moved to Sydney with his father where he played for the Campbelltwon Blues under 18’s and was playing with the seniors by the end of the season.
From there, Martin played for the Bendigo Pioneers in the 2008 season for the TAC Cup. In 2009, as part of the Pioneers, he came runners up for the best and fairest award and averaged 24 touches and finished first in disposals, contested possessions, inside 50’s and score assists. He went on to represent Vic Country in the under 18’s championships against Western Australia and was selected from there for the under 18’s All-Australian team. He entered the AFL draft in Canberra, finishing equal second in kicking efficiency and was the second fastest sprinter in camp. He was quickly drafted into Richmond for the 2009 AFL Draft.
With an impressive debut of 18 touches, 4 marks and 3 tackles, Martin won the 2010 AFL Rising Star award for his performance against Port Adelaide. He finished the year ranking second at Richmond for clearances and inside 50’s and third for contest possessions and disposals. In 2013 Martin was selected in the inaugural AFL Players Association 22-Under-22 team, an award that recognises the best young talent in the AFL. In 2014, Martin received the second highest number of Brownlow Medal votes for a Richmond player.
It is safe to say that Martin has officially developed himself into an explosive AFL midfielder and an unstoppable opponent in attack. One of the most dynamic and damaging players on the field, Martin is a shining star – and one of the most exciting players to watch in the league. A bull on the field and impossible to tackle, this aggressive footballer is clearly relishing his role in midfield, winning his own ball, breaking tackles and easily bursting clear of the competition.
Also an asset in the forward, Martin is rarely beaten one-on-one. With his new-found consistency on the field, “Dusty” can truly be classed as an AFL elite.