From Peel… To The Real Deal! Matt Riggio Aims For 200 This Season

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 3:30 PM by Matt Ogg

In a strange season with so many unknowns, Matt Riggio is hoping to play at least 8 more games to see him reach what less than 2% of players in Swan Districts history have achieved… 200 games.

A country boy from Waroona, Riggio began his WAFL career at Peel Thunder before being selected by the Kangaroos at pick 28 overall, in the 2005 AFL draft.

Having played alongside some champion team mates while in the AFL, Matt said it was a games record holder that really helped him during his four years at the club.

‘My locker was right next to Brent Harvey, so I probably saw him the most and learnt from him the most as well’ he said.

‘I was lucky to learn from some of the older guys like Adam Simpson, Glenn Archer and Drew Petrie too, which was awesome.’

Who knew that it would be from the advice of an AFL Hall of Famer that helped Matt decide which club to join, after being delisted by North Melbourne at the end of 2009.

‘I actually knew David Parkin when I was in the AFL, and talked to him a few of times about my game’ he said.

‘I told him that I’d be approached by several clubs, and asked him who he thought was a good club in the WAFL.

‘He said that Swans Districts have a massive history here in WA, are a good club to be around and have good people working there.

‘So that’s who I went with the Swans, and I’m glad I did.’

The only remaining Swan from the 2010 Premiership side, Matt has crafted his trade through the midfield and across half back.

He has an impressive list of achievements so far in his time with the black and whites including;

  • Back to back Swans Best & Fairest Awards (2015 & 2016),
  • Life Membership (2017),
  • 2x time WA State Representation (2016 & 2017),
  • Swan Districts League Co-captain, and
  • A Premiership medal (2010).

‘To win the club Best & Fairest in 2015, then win it the next year is something I will always hold dear in my heart’ Matt recalls.

‘It’s something that I am very proud of and am in good company with, especially with the guys that have won it twice.

‘Becoming a Life Member, when it first happened I wondered to myself if I deserved it, because of the list of Swans legends that are in it. I now know that I do and I’m really proud of that recognition.’

Matt will be hoping to reach 200 games in 2020, unsure of what the future may hold for his playing career next year.

‘I said at the start of last year that that might be my last one, but I’d see how I go. By half way through the season I knew I was ready to go round again.’

‘So I’ll have to see how I am feeling throughout this season and how my body is going. If I need only  one or two games to reach 200, I’ll have a hard think about whether I’ll go again.’

Upon reaching this milestone, Matt will be only the 20th player in Swans history to have played that many games.

‘That’s going to be awesome’ Matt says.

‘Again, with the names that have hit that mark, and to have a little pin on the locker, I’ll be really honoured to play 200 with the club.

‘The two players who have already reached that milestone that stand out for me are Tallan Ames and Tony Notte, as they are two of the guys I’ve played with in my time here as well.

‘I see guys like Bill Walker walking around the club, and to see such legends just rolling around here, it’s what I aspire to later in life.’

Make sure you are there to support your Swans when the club plays there first games after the lockdown.