Richie Vandenberg

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Richie Vandenberg
Richard vandenberg.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1977-01-14) 14 January 1977 (age 37)
Original team Melbourne University Blues (VAFA)
Debut Round 17, 25 July 1998, Hawthorn
v. Port Adelaide, at Football Park
Height/Weight 178cm / 87kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1998–2007 Hawthorn 145 (64)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2007 season.
Career highlights
  • Hawthorn captain, 2005–2007

Richard "Richie" Vandenberg (born 14 January 1977) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was the captain of the Hawks for the final three years of his career, 2005–2007.

He was selected with pick 78 in the 1997 AFL Draft.

Vandenberg is of Dutch descent. Growing up near Wentworth, New South Wales, a small town near Mildura just on the northern side of the Murray River in far western New South Wales, he played junior football for the local club. He moved to Melbourne to study at the University of Melbourne in 1995, playing with the University Blues where he attracted the attention of Hawthorn recruiters.

Vandenberg had his best seasons in 2000 and 2001. He was made captain when Shane Crawford stepped down for the 2005 season. He struggled to recapture his best form, but in 2006 fitted into his new role more solidy. On 4 September 2007 Vandenberg officially announced his retirement in a press conference.

Vandenberg is a solidly built player with a reputation for aggressive play, fronting the AFL Tribunal on many occasions (his most recent being a four-week suspension in 2006). In 2004 he was involved in the 'Line in the Sand' incident, when former AFL star Dermott Brereton allegedly told the players to make a physical stand. As a result of he was suspended for six games.

Vandenberg retired at the end of the 2007 season after leading the Hawks to their most successful campaign since 2001.

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