DOB: July 27 1974
Debut: Round 1, 1998 against Fremantle at Subiaco
Last Game: 2005 Elimination Final against Geelong at MCG
From: Myrtleford/Hawthorn, selection #77 1997 National Draft, selection #5 2003 Pre-Season Draft
Number: 43 (1998-2005)
Best First Year Player - 1998
Grand Final team - 2000
Statistical categories led:
Most games in jumper 43
Most goals in jumper 43
Originally picked by Hawthorn in the 1993 Pre-Season draft after playing just a dozen senior games with Myrtleford, Rigoni spent 1993 and 1994 in the Hawks' Reserves side. After 42 games for their seconds he was delisted.
Returning to Myrtleford, Rigoni was one of his side's best players over the next three seasons. After winning their 1997 Best and Fairest, he was invited to play for Melbourne's Reserves in the last round of 1997. A 33 possession game, despite not knowing any of his teammates and coming off an end-of-season bender, convinced the Demons to draft him at the end of the season. He debuted in the opening round of 1998, and played 25 games in his first season. He added another 20 in 1999, becoming one of his side's key midfielders and bouncing back from being dropped after a form slump.
In 2000 he played every game, including 23 touches in the losing Grand Final side. A bulging disc in his back meant Rigoni missed every match from Round 13, 2001 to Round 3, 2003. Put on the long term injury list after Round 1, 2002 he was initially delisted, but after having the troublesome disc shaved he was able to take part in pre-season and was redrafted with selection #5 in the 2003 Pre-Season draft.
Rigoni played nine games in 2003 and seven in 2004, including the losing Elimination Final against Essendon. That year he was best on ground in the winning Sandringham VFL premiership side. He played 11 more games in 2005, including another losing Elimination Final, before appearing in another Sandringham premiership side. At the end of that year he announced his retirement, aged 31. He continued to play for Sandringham as a VFL listed player in 2006, winning another premiership that season before returning to Myrtleford.
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$1000 fine|
melbfc.com.au - 26/04/2001
Age - 21/12/2002
AFANA News 22/12/2003
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