Richmond star Dustin Martin won’t have his father in the stands for tonight’s preliminary final against Geelong.
Shane Martin was deported to New Zealand in 2016 for links to bikie gangs, and is now refused entry to Australia so he can watch his son play football.
The Tigers and Cats’ first bounce is at 7:50pm at the MCG, in the AFL’s second preliminary final.
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The elder Martin said his criminal record has been “amped up” due to the high profile of his son Dustin.
“What better person to make an example of? I’m not that sort of person they made me out to be,” he said in an interview on Melbourne radio station 3AW.
“They amp the charges up to make you look worse, that’s what police do.”
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Tigers coach Damien Hardwick doesn’t expect the off-field issues to affect Dustin’s performance against the Cats.
“He’s a resilient lad, he’s disappointed from a human element, I think we would all like to have our dad watch us play,” he said.
“But it’s been this way for a long time and Dustin understands, I think he’ll put his best foot forward for us.”
Martin will face one of the toughest challenges of his career on the field when he shapes up against Cats midfield duo of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood tonight.