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AFL: PNG Teenager signs contract with Richmond Tigers

RICHMOND hopes its new 172cm rookie from Papua New Guinea will terrorise opposition defenders.

Gideon Simon was signed up on Saturday (06/10/12) as the Tigers' first international rookie.

The small forward spent three months at Punt Rd this season on an international scholarship, and played with the Coburg reserves.

The 18-year-old showed enough to be rookie-listed for next season.

Richmond recruiting manager Matt Clarke said the club hoped to turn Simon into a “tackling machine”.

He's little but he's powerful,” Clarke told the Tigers website.

“The thing that impressed us (during his stint at Punt Rd) was how well he fitted into the group.

“Our players were disappointed when he had to go back home.

“The coach (Damien Hardwick) said, 'He does everything right as a person, he does everything right on the ground. Let's give him a chance'.”

Simon has been at Etihad Stadium for this week's draft camp, testing well in sprinting and agility events.

Simon, who hails from Mt Hagen, PNG's third-largest city, said he played in the midfield in the Port Moresby competition.

“Here I'm too short,” he said. “They will play me in the forwards.”


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