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Tiger fan Ash 'surprised and honoured' to present AFL trophy


World number one tennis player Ash Barty will present the AFL premiership cup to Richmond should the Tigers win Saturday’s decider.

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The 24-year-old is a lifelong supporter of Richmond and its number one membership holder for the AFLW team.

The AFL has asked clubs to nominate a person to present the premiership cup since 2004.

“I was surprised and very honoured when [Richmond president] Peggy [O’Neal] asked me to present the cup,” Barty said in a statement on the Richmond website.

“I know there are many other Richmond people who would normally do this but given the circumstances I am very grateful for the opportunity.

“I wish the boys all the best for Saturday and very much hope I have the chance to be out there when the siren goes celebrating another Richmond premiership.”

Ipswich-born Barty, who has retained her world number one ranking despite not stepping onto a tennis court since February, was seen supporting the Tigers at the Gabba when Richmond lost its qualifying final against the Lions earlier this month.

Barty said she watched the Tigers matches when on the tennis tour.

“[I] have loved watching the Tigers on my travels, supporting them has been a constant source of enjoyment for me on the road.”

Should Geelong prevail on Saturday, the cup will be presented by 325-game Cats legend, Ian Nankervis.

Nankervis played for Geelong from 1967 to 1983, kicking 203 goals and being named the club’s best and fairest three times, in 1972, 1976 and 1977.

The member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame captained the Cats for 110 games across four seasons.

Richmond takes on Geelong in the grand final at the Gabba in Brisbane on Saturday at 7:30pm AEDT.

– ABC / © 2020 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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