Chris Johnson believes Shane Edwards is channelling Shaun Burgoyne as a finals performer. Picture: Getty Images
Chris Johnson believes Shane Edwards is channelling Shaun Burgoyne as a finals performer. Picture: Getty Images

Is Tiger Edwards the new Shaun Burgoyne?

Indigenous Team of the Century member Chris Johnson says Shane Edwards is turning into Richmond's Shaun Burgoyne as the ultimate finals firestarter.

Edwards was injected into the Tigers midfield in the third quarter of their qualifying final win over Brisbane and ran amok with 13 disposals in a performance as good as Dustin Marin's six-goal heroics.

 

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Edwards has become one of Damien Hardwick's most valuable commodities, a versatile player able to plug any hole or fix any problem.

And triple premiership Lions great Johnson, who played 264 games with Fitzroy and Brisbane, says his big game heroics are now starting to get due recognition.

For Johnson it came against his former side but while All Australian Edwards hasn't been seen as one of the indigenous greats, he is now closing in on the luminaries of the code.

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Shane Edwards was one of Richmond’s best in their qualifying final win. Picture: AAP
Shane Edwards was one of Richmond’s best in their qualifying final win. Picture: AAP

"He has been outstanding. Richmond have known for a long time what type of player he has been and what he means to them but the general football public don't see how valuable he is," Johnson told the Herald Sun.

"He goes under the radar but you just tell how telling his impact was in the third quarter.

"He has that ability to change the game with little bits of brilliance. He brings so many people into the game and in big games he has been able to stand up for Richmond.

"There is no doubt they look to him and look to inject him somewhere to give the players a spark. He reeks of Shauny (Burgoyne) at times. He might not be as polished as Shaun but he can play back or midfield and you just don't see him waste too many disposals."

In that third quarter Edwards had the most disposals on the ground (13), the most metres gained (290), the most uncontested possessions (eight) as well as two clearances, two inside-50s and two score involvements.

A Tigers side that had a narrow lead despite Brisbane's dominance had blown Brisbane out of the water by three quarter time.

 

 

The Herald Sun reported last month he had a two-year offer on the table and yesterday he told 3AW he wanted to stay at the club.

"Obviously it's year to year. I suppose I just love playing so it's going to be when someone comes up and takes my spot, but my body feels like it did when I was 25 or 26 so who knows?" he said.

"As you can see with Brett Deledio, he was the most durable player I ever played with and a calf can derail things. We are just in talks at Richmond so hopefully something will happen soon.

"In my position I just really want to be at Richmond."