Nick Vlastuin

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Nick Vlastuin
Nick Vlastuin 2017.1.jpg
Vlastuin playing for Richmond in March 2017
Personal information
Full name Nicholas Alexander Leendert Vlastuin
Nickname(s) Tigger[1]
Date of birth (1994-04-19) 19 April 1994 (age 24)
Original team(s) Eltham (NFL)
Northern Knights (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 9, 2012 AFL National Draft: Richmond
Debut Round 5, 2013, Richmond
vs. Fremantle, at Subiaco Oval
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 87 kg (192 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current club Richmond
Number 1
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2013– Richmond 117 (25)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of the 2018 season.
Career highlights



  • 2× U18 national champion: 2011, 2012
  • U18 All-Australian: 2012
  • U18 VIC Metro captain: 2012
Sources: AFL Tables,

Nicholas Alexander Leendert Vlastuin (pronounced [flɒs təʊn]; born 19 April 1994) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Vlastuin was a premiership player with the club in 2017. He plays as a hybrid defender, adept at playing on tall and small forwards as well as rebounding from defensive 50.[2]

Early life and junior football[edit]

Vlastuin spent his formative years living in Melbourne's northern suburbs.[3] He played his junior football at Eltham in the Northern Football League before moving to the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup at the age of 14.[1]

In 2011 Vlastuin represented the premiership winning Victorian Metro side at the Under-18 National championships.[4] He returned to the team in 2012, this time captaining the side to the competition title.[5] He was also named All-Australian for his performances in the tournament.[6] As an Under-18 player Vlastuin was also a member of the AFL-AIS academy; an elite training program for 30 of the country's best young footballers.[1]

Vlastuin completed high school at St Helena Secondary College in 2011.[1] In addition to football commitments, he worked as a pool lifeguard during 2012.[4]

AFL career[edit]

Vlastuin was drafted with Richmond's first pick and the ninth selection overall in the 2012 AFL Draft .[7]

Vlastuin made his AFL debut in round 5 of the 2013 AFL season in an away game against Fremantle at Subiaco Oval. In round 7 of the same season he was nominated for the 2013 AFL Rising Star after a 23 possession game against Port Adelaide.[8] He also kicked his first career goal in the match.[9] He would go on to play 18 games in his first season, recording an average of 16.3 disposals and 4.8 marks per game and placing sixth in the Rising Star award.[10][11] In addition he received the Cosgrove-Jenkins award as the club's best first-year player.[12]

Vlastuin began 2014 in the club's best-22, playing in round one against Carlton.[9] In fact, he played in each of the club's first seven matches before suffering a broken finger in round 9 against Melbourne.[13] He would return to football relatively quickly however, missing just two rounds of AFL action.[14] Between rounds 15 and 18 he was prolific floating forward, kicking a goal in each of the three matches.[9] He finished the season having played 20 matches at AFL level, including a finals series appearance for the second straight season.[9] Vlastuin placed seventh at the club for tackles and ninth for rebound 50s in 2014.[15]

In his third year at the club, Vlastuin managed to play in all 23 possible matches.[9] He recorded double digit possessions in every match in 2015 and finished top-ten at the club for tackles and rebound 50s.[9] He placed sixth in the club's best-and-fairest award, his highest place to date.[16] He was also nominated for the AFLPA's 22 Under 22 team but would fail to make the final team.[17] At season's end he underwent minor hip surgery.[18]

At the beginning of the 2016 season, Vlastuin adopted the #1 guernsey, worn the previous year by retiring former club captain and personal backline mentor, Chris Newman.[19] In an under strength side for the club's first pre-season tournament match he played the role of captain, despite not being a member of the club's leadership group.[20] He played in each of the club's first four matches that season before a leg injury kept him out of action for two matches.[21] Upon his return in round 7 he took on a midfield role, replacing the injured Trent Cotchin.[22] He recorded 16 disposals, six tackles and a goal in the match but did not reprise the role on a regular basis that season.[23] Vlastuin suffered a concussion in the second quarter of the club's round 11 loss to North Melbourne.[24] In addition to missing the remainder of the match he sat out two more games, not returning until after the bye, in a round 14 match against Brisbane Lions.[25] From that point forward he did not miss a match, finishing the season having played 19 games in 2016.[9] He was again nominated to the 22 Under 22 squad that season but would go unselected for the second straight season.[26] He placed ninth in the club's best and fairest count in 2016.[27]

Vlastuin flies for a mark over Collingwood's Chris Mayne in round 2 of the 2017 season

Prior to the 2017 season, Richmond's coaches pegged Vlastuin for a move to a more stoppage focused role. He ceased training with the club's backline specific group and moved into the club's midfield training group.[28] Vlastuin was a key member of Richmond's strong start to the 2017 season, playing in the club's round 1 victory over Carlton. He kicked a goal during the match while his 12 tackles for the match set a career best.[29] Vlastuin suffered a broken nose and concussion in the club's round 3 win over West Coast.[30] He played with the lingering effects of the injury in round 4 before concussion symptoms saw him sit out the club's round 5 match against Melbourne.[31] Vlastuin suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter of his side's round 7 match against the Western Bulldogs.[32] Scans later revealed a small scapula fracture with initial estimations suggesting he would miss three to four weeks of play.[33][34] He ultimately missed more than two months of AFL football, returning to the club's senior side in round 17 following a fortnight of matches in the VFL.[35] He would however return to his previous home in the backline, with his midfield move scuttled by his injury, by previous injuries to key backline personnel and by the emergence of young midfielder Jack Graham.[2][36][27] Vlastuin was back to his best in that role, lifting his metres gained average from 20th at the club to third as well as his intercept possession count from 1.8 to 8.3, good for ninth in the whole league.[2] In round 18 he was among the Tigers' best, recording 11 marks and 21 possessions (including 13 intercept possessions) in the club's win over the GWS Giants.[27] He held his form into the finals series, playing a "pivotal" role in Richmond's qualifying final win over Geelong.[37] When Vlastuin and the Tigers won over Greater Western Sydney in the preliminary final, he was lined up to defend Adelaide's Eddie Betts in the grand final. Vlastuin started slow, giving up a goal to Betts early in the first quarter.[38] He turned his performance around however and contributed 16 possessions and six rebound 50s to Richmond's first premiership winning side in 37 years.[39] He played 16 matches that season and finished 2017 as a premiership player.[9]

After playing in round 1 of the 2018 season, Vlastuin suffered a delayed concussion that saw him miss round 2's grand final re-match with Adelaide.[40] After eight rounds Vlastuin ranked second at Richmond for intercept possessions with an average of 7.5 per game.[2]

Vlastuin is contracted to Richmond through the end of the 2019 season.[41]


Statistics are correct to the end of the 2018 season[42]
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2013 Richmond 31 18 9 3 157 137 294 86 55 0.5 0.2 8.7 7.6 16.3 4.8 3.1
2014 Richmond 31 20 4 3 168 136 304 82 61 0.2 0.2 8.4 6.8 15.2 4.1 3.1
2015 Richmond 31 23 1 0 191 161 352 102 62 0.0 0.0 8.3 7.0 15.3 4.4 2.7
2016 Richmond 1 19 4 2 187 112 299 107 45 0.2 0.1 9.8 5.6 15.5 5.6 2.4
2017 Richmond 1 16 2 1 163 85 248 90 43 0.1 0.1 10.2 5.3 15.5 5.6 2.7
2018 Richmond 1 21 5 3 222 127 349 136 56 0.2 0.1 10.6 6.0 16.6 6.5 2.7
Career 117 25 11 1088 758 1846 603 322 0.2 0.1 9.3 6.5 15.8 5.2 2.8

Honours and achievements[edit]



Personal life[edit]

Vlastuin is a second generation Australian of Dutch descent.[3] He is son to mother Cecily and father Chris.[3] Due to a cut on his face that had stitches, Vlastuin was unable to shave for the early part of the 2017 season. He became superstitious and grew out the beard for the remainder of the season, a habit he has kept as of 2018.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Chalk and cheese". Northern Football League. SportsTG. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Phelan, Jennifer (20 May 2018). "Defence, and beard, is growing on Tiger". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Quayle, Emma (20 November 2012). "Thrill of the game helps control Nick's hard edge". The Age. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b Clark, Jay (2 November 2012). "Pick Me: Nick Vlastuin at home in the trenches". Herald Sun. News Corp. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  5. ^ Ralph, Jon (5 March 2013). "Richmond recruit Nick Vlastuin is raw but ready for senior football". Herald Sun.
  6. ^ Phelan, Jason (2012). Top teams dominate Under-18s All Australian side – Australian Football League. Published 6 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Tigers Take Vlastuin". Richmond Football Club. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  8. ^ Guthrie, Ben. "Vlastuin wins Rising Star nomination". AFL BigPond network. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Nick Vlastuin". AFL Tables. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Vlastuin's Draft flashback". Richmond FC. Bigpond. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  11. ^ Lovett, Michael, ed. (February 2015). AFL Record Season Guide 2015. Melbourne, Victoria: AFL Media. p. 606.
  12. ^ "Vlastuin aclaimed". Richmond Football Club. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Upgraded Miles set to line up against Giants". AAP. Bigpond. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Vlastuin stakes his claim". Richmond FC. Bigpond. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  15. ^ "2014 Player Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  16. ^ Greenberg, Tony. "Greenberg's Grabs from the 2015 Jack Dyer Medal". Richmond Football Club. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  17. ^ Baldwin, Adam. "AFLPA 22under22 squad: Jesse Hogan, Chad Wingard, Taylor Adams, Jake Stringer". Fox Footy. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  18. ^ Schmook, Nathan (9 October 2015). "Tigers on US mission". Bigpond. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Vlastuin's smooth transition". Richmondfc. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Vlastuin to thrive as skipper". Richmond FC. Bigpond. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  21. ^ Greenberg, Tony (22 April 2016). "Big guns back for Tigers". Richmond FC. Telstra Media. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  22. ^ Greenberg, Tony (9 May 2016). "Midfield move makes Nick click". Richmond FC. Bigpond. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Round 7, 2016, Richmond vs Hawthorn". AFL Tables. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  24. ^ Black, Sarah (11 June 2016). "Vlastuin withdrawn from Suns clash". Bigpond. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  25. ^ Greenberg, Tony (23 June 2016). "Nick back". Richmond FC. Bigpond. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  26. ^ Di Giorgio, Giulio. "Young Crows dominate 22under22 squad". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  27. ^ a b c Schmook, Nathan (25 July 2017). "Back to the future for reliable Tiger defender". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  28. ^ Cavanagh, Chris (26 January 2017). "Nick Vlastuin set to move into Richmond's midfield in 2017 in team shake-up". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  29. ^ Schmook, Nathan (23 March 2017). "Match report: Dusty blows away Blues". AFL Media. Bigpond. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  30. ^ McGowan, Marc (8 April 2017). "Second-tier Tigers please Hardwick". Richmond FC. Bigpond. AFL Media. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  31. ^ "Oppo: Tough Tiger eyes return". Adelaide FC. Telstra Media. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  32. ^ "AFL Bulldogs claw past Tigers to grab thriller". The Australian. News Corp Australia. AAP. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  33. ^ "AFL injury list: Who's hot, who's hurt at your club after round 7". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  34. ^ "Vlastuin to miss another week". Richmond FC. Telstra Media. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  35. ^ McKay, Ben (14 July 2017). "Hardwick wants Tigers to toughen up in AFL". The West Australian. Yahoo!7. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  36. ^ Gleeson, Michael (17 September 2017). "Richmond's Nick Vlastuin is the Tiger who has always been a Tigger". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  37. ^ Beveridge, Riley (9 September 2017). "'It bloody gave me goosebumps': Nick Vlastuin on the Richmond roar and the signs of a changed club". Fox Sports. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  38. ^ King, Travis (30 September 2017). "Composed Tiger unfazed by early blunder". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  39. ^ Olle, Sarah (30 September 2017). "How young Tiger Nick Vlastuin responded from an early shocker to win the 2017 AFL premiership". Fox Sports. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  40. ^ Greenberg, Tony (28 March 2018). "Houli replaces Vlastuin". Richmond FC. Telstra Media. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  41. ^ Nicholson, Larissa. "Richmond Tigers players Nick Vlastuin, Corey Ellis re-sign". The Age. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  42. ^ "Nick Vlastuin". AFL Tables. Retrieved 28 August 2016.

External links[edit]