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Nick Riewoldt (born 17 October 1982) is an Australian rules footballer who is the current captain of the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was the first draft selection in the 2000 AFL Draft.
Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Riewoldt and his family moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland when he was nine years old. He attended Robina State Primary School from Year 5 and later became the school's vice captain and UNICEF representative and then went to All Saints Anglican School during his high school years. Australian Rules football is not offered in many Queensland schools but he made a name for himself as an overall sportsman, participating in the school's athletics, cross country, cricket, soccer and touch football teams at a high level. Academically, he also excelled in the studies of physics and chemistry.
Riewoldt played his junior and early senior football at the Broadbeach Football Club before moving to the Southport Sharks where he was identified as an outstanding junior talent.
Riewoldt was the No.1 Draft Pick in the 2000 AFL Draft and made his debut in 2001.
His breakout season was 2004 when he took an AFL record 256 marks and also finished in the top ten for both the Coleman and Brownlow medals. He received the AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player Award, the Leigh Matthews Trophy. Riewoldt was recognised for his season with selection in the 2004 All-Australian Team as a forward player. His first career All-Australian Team award. Riewoldt played in St Kilda’s 2004 Wizard Home Loans Cup winning side, St Kilda's second pre-season cup win.
Riewoldt was rewarded for his 2004 efforts when St Kilda named him club captain for 2005 as part of their rotating captaincy policy. His 2005 season began badly as he broke his collarbone in the third quarter of the first game of the season against the Brisbane Lions. This drew controversy as he was then bumped after the injury by Lions players Chris Scott and Mal Michael when it was obvious he was hurt. Riewoldt had, however, waved away the trainers indicating that he was fine to continue playing, so no action was taken against Scott or Michael. After a brief return to playing later in the season, Riewoldt again broke his collarbone. Riewoldt later recovered in time to play in the 2005 finals series.
Early in the 2006 season, Riewoldt returned to close to his best form, kicking five goals against former powerhouse Brisbane in Round 3. This match seemed to have put Riewoldt's kicking "yips" to bed, but they returned during the Round 7 match against Geelong when he missed a simple but critical goal from 15 metres out. This miss was forgotten the next week when Riewoldt kicked 9 goals against Carlton and took many contested marks. Riewoldt also took a match saving mark for the Saints against Sydney in Round 11, a match the Saints won in wet conditions, and one that kept their finals hopes alive. Riewoldt topped off the 2006 season by winning his third Trevor Barker Award. In achieving this feat, Riewoldt has already emulated some of the Saints greatest players such as the 1966 premiership captain Darrel Baldock, former skipper Nathan Burke and past champions Wells Eicke, Jack Davis and Jim Ross. Riewoldt was recognised for his season with selection in the 2006 All-Australian Team as a forward player, his second career All-Australian Team award.
At the beginning of the 2007 season, Lyon appointed Riewoldt Co-Captain of the St Kilda Football Club, along with Luke Ball and Lenny Hayes, both former captains themselves. Back and hamstring injuries forced Riewoldt to miss the first three matches of the season. Riewoldt started the season well, with eight goals in his first two matches. In Round 7, Riewoldt dominated against the Sydney Swans, which kick-started another outstanding year. Despite the Saints missing the finals, Riewoldt enjoyed a better year statistically than 2004, narrowly winning St Kilda's best and fairest Trevor Barker Award ahead of defender Sam Fisher.
Riewoldt played in St Kilda’s 2008 NAB Cup winning side – the club's third pre-season cup win. Riewoldt had a consistent 2008 season, coming second in the AFL for marks (behind Matthew Richardson) and kicking 57 home and away season goals (63 all up) to finish ninth in the competition. This performance earned him his third All-Australian selection, his first at centre-half-forward. He was also selected to play in the Hall of Fame Tribute Match, but was ultimately unable to play due to a knee injury. Riewoldt was recognised for his season with selection in the 2008 All-Australian Team as a forward player. This was his third All-Australian Team award.
In 2009, Riewoldt took the most marks of any player in the league, averaging 9.7 a game and kicking 65 goals in the home and away season, averaging 3.3 a game. He was a significant player in a St Kilda team which went through the home and away season with 20 wins and two defeats. Riewoldt played in 21 of 22 matches in the 2009 home and away rounds in which St Kilda qualified in first position for the finals series, winning the club’s third minor premiership. Riewoldt was recognised for his season with selection in the 2009 All-Australian Team as a forward player. He was also named captain of the 2009 All-Australian Team, his fourth All-Australian Team award. In the preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs, Riewoldt kicked four goals, one of which was in the final minutes. At one stage in that game and threw up on the sidelines as a result of how hard he had pushed himself. St Kilda qualified for the 2009 AFL Grand Final after qualification and preliminary finals wins but were defeated by Geelong by 12 points. Riewoldt kicked one goal. Riewoldt won the 2009 Trevor Barker Award for St Kilda's best and fairest player, setting a new club record of five career best and fairest awards. He was also St Kilda's leading goal kicker in 2009.
During St Kilda's 28 point Round 3 win over Collingwoood, on 9 April 2010, Riewoldt experienced a high grade hamstring tear. He underwent surgery and made his return in Round 15, playing 15 games in the season for 39 goals. Riewoldt has now passed 400 goals in his career and is the fourth highest goalkicker in St Kilda's history.
After being dogged by controversy in the pre-season (due to the publication of a nude image of himself), Riewoldt had a consistent, though not outstanding, year in 2011, as the Saints once again made the top 8, although they were knocked out of the premiership race in the first week of the finals by Sydney. Riewoldt was appointed captain for a fifth consecutive season in 2012.