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Rutten to Richmond

Former Adelaide full-back Ben Rutten has joined Richmond as an assistant coach.

Rutten retired as a player with the Crows in the final home-and-away round this season following a stellar 12-year career.

He played 229 games, averaged 13,3 disposals and 5.2 marks per match, was named full-back in the 2005 All-Australian team, and earned a glowing reputation as one of the best key defenders in the competition over the past decade.

“We are very fortunate to have Ben at the Richmond Football Club, and we look forward to welcoming him to our coaching group,” said Richmond General Manager of Football, Dan Richardson.

“Ben’s playing achievements speak for themselves, and his leadership skills, knowledge of the game, and experience guiding Adelaide’s younger players, will hold him in good stead as he embarks on a coaching career.”

After being recruited by Adelaide from SANFL club West Adelaide, via the AFL’s 2001 rookie draft, Rutten made his senior league debut with the Crows in 2003 as a key forward, and had an instant impact, kicking a goal with each of his first three kicks at the game’s highest level.

Eventually, however, Adelaide decided Rutten’s football attributes would be better suited in defence – and he totally thrived with the move back.

Rutten became renowned for his fine kicking skills, marking ability, toughness, all-round strength, determination, decision-making capacity under pressure, leadership, and clever football brain.

He played on the biggest and best key forwards going around, and was very rarely beaten.

In the twilight of his league playing career, Rutten had been working closely with Adelaide’s backline coach Darren Milburn (dual Geelong premiership player), and at times he was like an extra assistant coach for the Crows.

He has also played a key role in the development of the Crows’ emerging key defenders, including reigning Best and Fairest winner Daniel Talia.

It was all part of his transition from playing to coaching, which is something he’d been preparing for over about the past five years.

Rutten completed the “Next Coach” program, an elite coaching course run by David Wheadon, which nearly 50 league players have graduated from since its inception in 2009.

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