Rhyan Mansell's hard work has paid off.
The 20-year-old officially realised his AFL dream on Thursday, with Richmond lodging paperwork to sign the Tasmanian as part of the AFL's Supplementary Selection Period (SSP).
A three-time premiership player with North Launceston, Mansell follows in the footsteps of fellow ex-Bomber Jay Lockhart, who joined Melbourne via the same process in 2019.
Richmond recruiting manager Matt Clarke said Mansell, who has been training with the Tigers since January 7, had been on the club's radar for several years.
"We have always liked his stuff because he suited what we like in a player; super competitive, physical, really good speed," Clarke said.
"He has Richmond qualities and that ability to come in hard and tackle."
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After missing out on being drafted as an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, Mansell relocated to the SANFL for season 2020 where he won a flag with Woodville-West Torrens.
His performances were again overlooked in a national draft that saw just 58 players picked up, but Richmond had been impressed by his ability to adapt to a new environment.
"To go into Woodville-West Torrens last year under an excellent coach (Jade Sheedy) and into a great footy club and brilliantly run organisation was fantastic," Clarke said.
"When he went there from Tasmania, it gave us confidence he could do well, and he obviously fitted into a really good team and won a flag, which was a big tick."
Six weeks of training was enough to convince the Tigers the 180cm running defender could fit in at Punt Road.
"We watched all his vision and the live streaming last year, but it is just not the same as actually being there," Clarke said.
"So, to be able to get him over here to train was great and a chance for us to also see how he could fit into our system and how quickly he would be able to learn, which he has.
"We have been able to have a bit of a look at how he might adapt to the way we play and defend, and he has coped really well."
Another of Mansell's ex-North Launceston teammates, Jackson Callow, is training with Hawthorn after moving to SANFL side Norwood in the off-season.