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Rivers playing for Melbourne in 2007
|Full name||Jared Rivers|
|Date of birth||18 October 1984|
|Original team(s)||North Adelaide (SANFL)|
|Draft||#26, 2002 National Draft, Melbourne|
|Height / weight||192cm / 92kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2015.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
He played junior football for the South Augusta Bulldogs Football club. He won a premiership with the club in 2000 at the age of 15, taking on much stronger opponents in the Spencer Gulf League. The North Adelaide Football Club spotted his raw talent and soon he was playing seniors under coach Darel Hart, who described him as a delight to coach.
He was rising quickly as a potential top ten draft pick, and was selected to play for South Australia's Under 18 team in the National competition. Unfortunately, he injured his wrist in the lead up to this match. But scouts from the Melbourne Demons liked what they saw in Rivers, and selected him as the 27th pick overall in the 2002 AFL Draft.
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He managed three games in his debut season, but won praise from many for his job on Port Adelaide superstar Warren Tredrea in his second match.
After a solid preseason, Rivers cemented his spot in the team and was quickly noticed by many in the football community. This resulted in his Round 3 nomination for National Bank Rising Star in 2004. He continued his good form all throughout the season right till the Demons' loss to Essendon in the Elimination Final. To prove how much his star was rising, his father Peter 'Boof' Rivers was given his own spot in the paper to comment on how Jared was faring, and he wasn't glowing in his report all the time.
In the week leading up to the Final, he was awarded the 2004 Rising Star award. The choice was unanimous as he received 5 marks from all nine judges to collect the maximum of 45 points. The next best was Melbourne teammate Aaron Davey, who Rivers admitted was a shoo-in for the award until injuring his hamstring late in season 2004.
His season in 2005 may not have been so spectacular, with poor form and injury culminating in him being dropped to the Sandringham team towards the end of the season. He was also suspended for two matches after striking Hawthorn's Ben Dixon, who was helpless as Rivers sent a message both to him and to future opposition forwards that he would not be messed with. But despite these setbacks, supporters of his in Pt Augusta were sure he would bounce back in 2006 to reaffirm himself as one of the AFL's premier defenders.
Rivers bounced back well from an indifferent 2005, this time by becoming the premier defender of the Melbourne Football Club, the highlight of the year notching up his 50th career game against Port Adelaide at the MCG in Round 13.
Rivers is considered a master of the one percenter. He has also been able to sneak forward on many occasions in the 2006 season, including the Queens Birthday Match when he was able to kick his first and second goals in AFL football.
Rivers had an unlucky start to the 2007 season, suffering from injuries. Falling into line with Melbourne's other injury problems in 2007, Rivers had little time on the field, and was considered at one stage to be suffering from a season-threatening groin injury.
2008 saw Rivers succumb to another injury, this time with a torn abdominal against the Magpies in the annual Queens Birthday match.
On 18 October 2012, Rivers, an unrestricted free agent under the AFL's new free agency system, signed a 2-year contract with the Geelong Football Club. In August 2015, he announced his immediate retirement from the AFL due to chronic knee problems
Post football career
A year after joining Collingwood's coaching staff, Rivers was appointed as the coach of the VFL team, following Dale Tapping leaving to take up a role as an assistant coach with the Brisbane Lions.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- Ryan, Peter. "Rivers flows to Geelong". afl.com.au. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- Laughton, Max (24 August 2015). "Jared Rivers forced to retire due to chronic knee problems after 194 games for Geelong and Melbourne". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- Allen, Sarah (15 October 2015). "Former Cat joins Magpies". collingwoodfc.com.au. BigPond.
- "Rivers to lead VFL Magpies". collingwoodfc.com.au. BigPond. 3 November 2016.
- "Former Demon Named As Collingwood's VFL Coach". Triple M. 3 November 2016.
- Amy, Paul (24 October 2016). "Collingwood VFL coach Dale Tapping has joined the Brisbane Lions". Melbourne Leader.
- "Jared Rivers". AFL Tables. Retrieved 22 August 2016.