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Having grown up in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, Trent spent his later teenage years in the Victorian town of Wollert and played his junior football with West Preston Lakeside in the Northern Football League.
He represented the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup Under 18 competition at the age of 16, while also captaining Vic Metro at the Under 16 National Championships.
A member of the AIS-AFL Academy elite junior pathway, he spent time training with the Richmond Football Club in his draft and was subsequently snapped up by the Tigers with pick 2 in the 2007 NAB AFL Draft. He was handed former Richmond champion Wayne Campbell’s Number 9 jumper after it had been rested for a couple of seasons.
Cotchin overcame an early ankle injury to debut in round 8, 2008 and immediately showed his potential to finish third in the AFL Rising Star Award. He battled injuries again in 2009 before finally getting the opportunity to show the AFL world what he was capable of in 2010 after being voted into the club’s leadership group before his 20th birthday – a testament to his natural leadership skills.
Trent’s rise through the AFL midfielder ranks continued with a breakout 2011 which saw him win his first Jack Dyer Medal as Richmond’s best and fairest, then cemented himself as one of the game’s premier on-ballers in 2012, averaging more than 27 disposals per game to be the joint winner of the Brownlow Medal, and also collect the AFL Coaches’ Association Player of the Year, his first All-Australian blazer and a second Best & Fairest.
Cotchin was handed the Richmond captaincy for 2013 at just 22 years of age, leading the Tigers into their first finals series in 12 years before collecting a third Jack Dyer Medal in 2014 as the sleeping giant began to show signs of awakening from its extended slumber.
Cotchin’s pivotal contribution to building a culture of success at Punt Road has been well documented and handsomely rewarded by becoming just the eighth player in VFL/AFL history to become a triple premiership captain after Richmond’s 37-year drought-breaking win in 2017 was followed up with back-to-back flags in 2019 and 2020 as the Tigers reclaimed their place as the competition powerhouse.
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