After a year in which many football pundits and media personalities have criticised Trent Cotchin's captaincy and output for his Richmond Tigers, their suspicions have been reaffirmed by having him announced as joint 2012 Brownlow Medal winner with former-Hawk Sam Mitchell.
Former Richmond assistant and Kangaroos player turned television pundit David King said as far back as April that Richmond should look at replacing Trent Cotchin as captain after his 38 disposal game against Collingwood. The awarding of the highest possible individual honour in the AFL to Cotchin has now left King with no doubts.
"Imagine if your club was languishing with a consistent ball-winner and Brownlow medallist in their midfield, influencing play and giving direction. You'd be absolutely livid. The Richmond faithful deserve better.
"This medal confirms to me that Cotchin is just going to be another of those midfield Brownlow captains that simply won't be remembered. Hird, Voss, Buckley, Paul Kelly, Chris Judd. Trent's heading down the same path as them and Richmond need to do something about it."
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick responded to the criticism mid-year by defending his captain.
“I am flabbergasted at the criticism he cops. We win a lot of football games because of this bloke, so people need to actually take a deep breath and start to look at some other targets," Hardwick said in April.
He is also now re-thinking his stance.
"Look, sometimes you're absolutely sure of something but some new information comes to light and you have to reassess. I always thought Trent was a wonderful player, a crucial ball-winner, could swing a game single-handedly and could lead this club for years to come but winning a Brownlow just throws that all into dispute."
Trent Cotchin's most recent vice-captain, Brett Deledio, is the front-runner to replace Cotchin as captain, despite being traded to Greater Western Sydney at his own request and laughing the whole plane journey to New South Wales.