TRENT Rivers put his best foot forward in 2020.
The 19-year-old, who featured nine times for Melbourne, showcased plenty of speed, class and hunger in his debut season.
It wasn’t a surprise to the Demons, who took him with their third pick and at No.32 overall in last year’s Draft, but it certainly left many wanting more.
“Riv (Rivers) had a really good year – he’s a confident young man who understands himself really well,” the Dees’ development coach, Matt Egan, told Melbourne Media.
“He played some early footy, went back and developed his game in the VFL and then finished off the season really strong in the AFL.
“We needed the running half-back, and his run is very exciting.
“He never gives up and has an incredible wheel to keep fighting until the end.”
His go-getter attitude was evident from the outset.
Debuting in Round 2, Rivers played three consecutive games before earning another call up to the senior side in Round 11.
But it was a couple of weeks later when his consistency really kicked in – he managed to hold his spot from Round 14 onwards, and have a fair impact on the way.
His best performance came when the Dees did battle with Greater Western Sydney in Round 17.
Rivers collected 16 disposals, eight of which were contested, and kicked two big goals: the second proving to be the match-winner.
And while defence is his bread and butter, his versatility could see him develop into several roles for the Dees.
“In his stints in the VFL, we played him on-ball for a little bit and he was awesome – he was really dynamic around the ball,” Egan said.
“He could be a midfielder easily, with his ability to get out of contest areas and back his legs.
“He’s a beautiful kick and he’s got confidence in himself that he can break tackles and he’s got speed and power to get out.
“I think he’s pretty settled down half-back, but you never know.”
Having signed a contract extension earlier this month, Rivers will pull on the red and blue until at least the end of the 2023 season.