19/04/2024
Adelaide may have fallen short against Hawthorn in Tasmania on Sunday, but Riley Thilthorpe starred in his long-awaited debut.

Adelaide may have fallen short against Hawthorn in Tasmania on Sunday, but Riley Thilthorpe starred in his long-awaited debut.

Thilthorpe’s five goal haul is the biggest on debut by any current player, and the most on debut since Martin McGrath also kicked five on debut for Richmond back in 2003.

Coach Matthew Nicks was full of praise for the young spearhead.

“It’s a credit to him, he’s a hard worker, he’s a professional,” he said.

“It was about getting the timing right, I thought he played a really important role at times.

“Obviously when we gave him an opportunity, and the team were playing the way we wanted to play, he’s got the ability to stand up.

“He’ll have his challenges, but good players are able to slow the game down and I thought he [did that].

“It’s a really exciting thing for our footy club to have such a professional footballer, starting out his career the way he did today.

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Such a strong forward line presence is down to the group providing plenty of opportunity, as Nicks explained.

“I’m really pleased for the group, because they’ll provide- they’ll feed that football down to the forward line and give him [Thilthorpe] his best chance,” he said.

“And we’ve talked about it, with Tex, with Elliot today.

“When you give these guys an opportunity, give them a chance, they won’t let you down too often.

“Unfortunately, we saw a quarter of footy today where, maybe we did.

“But again, that’s a learn for us, we’ll be better for it.

Although the young side has let another game slip through its fingers, Nicks noted one thing to come out of it.

“Unfortunately, a really good lesson to come out of it again,” he said.

“Probably the positive of it, if you were in our change rooms, they’re sick of getting lessons, as a young group.”

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