Richie Vandenburg
Hawthorn: 145 AFL games, 64 goals

Richard Vandenberg played for the Hawthorn Football Club in the AFL. He was the captain of the Hawks from 2005 to 2007 – the final three years of his career.

Vandenberg is of Dutch descent. Growing up near Wentworth, New South Wales, Vandenberg played junior football for his local club. He moved to Melbourne to study at the University of Melbourne in 1995, playing with University Blues, where he attracted the attention of Hawthorn recruiters.

Vandenberg was selected with pick 78 in the 1997 AFL draft. He was a solidly built player with a reputation for aggressive play.

Vandenberg was made captain of Hawthorn when Shane Crawford stepped down at the end of the 2004 season. New coach Alastair Clarkson chose Vandenberg because he was a man who was “very forthright, honest and has great integrity”, qualities his teammates admired.

Vandenberg retired at the end of the 2007 season after leading the Hawks to their most successful campaign since 2001.

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