King full of praise for now elite Martin

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AFL: Richmond cult figure joins Mike Sheahan on Open Mike.

Dustin Martin. Picture: AAP Image

BROWNLOW Medal fancy Dustin Martin has elevated himself into elite AFL company off the back of hard work and in spite of the unwanted attention from outside the club, according to his former teammate Jake King.

King said external perceptions of Martin could hardly be further from the truth.

“He is just a kid who wants to play football and we should let him play football,” King told Mike Sheahan on Open Mike, which will screen on Fox Footy at 8.30pm on Tuesday.

“I hate the word perception because what people are perceived to be is, in my eyes, a load of crap.

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“I look at him and I look at Trent Cotchin, and the way they care (for Richmond) … one has tattoos and one doesn’t.

“Dustin doesn’t talk about what he does, and because he doesn’t talk about it, people want to talk about it for him.

“So I think people have the wrong idea of Dustin and who he is. He is such an amazing kid. He is playing great football. We can all assume, but the guy that I know, he is going to have a great future and career.”

Richmond Football Club training at Punt Road Oval. Dustin Martin. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia

Martin has firmed into $15 to win football’s highest individual award after another best afield performance against Gold Coast on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has had to deal with the deportation of his father, Shane, to New Zealand earlier this year. He recently visited his father, and has pleaded with authorities to overturn the decision to allow Shane to return to Australia.

King said Martin was “one of the nicest kids you will ever come across.”

“Dustin has got one of the biggest hearts that you will actually find in a footballer. This kid works his a— off more than you can imagine.

“He has nothing but great intentions. He is going to be a superstar of the game. He has great people around him and he has got great support.”

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