Name: Benjamin Rioli Height: 175cm Weight: 62kg Foot preference: Right D.O.B: 9 October 1993 Sport: AFL Home state: NT (Tiwi Islands Heritage)
Benjamin started out his football career playing as a midfield/forward and then following his debut at senior level for Saint Marys Football Club in 2010, he transformed to a shut-down defender. Playing predominantly on small forwards in the NTFL, Benjamin quickly drew attention as a play-maker.
His most significant achievement to date is winning the NTFL Rising Star for season 2011/12, capped off by polling third in the Saints Best & Fairest, in just his second season of NTFL football. Rioli represented NT Thunder at the U18s National AFL Championships in 2011 and 2012. In 2012 his on-field presence and determination attracted significant praise in the media and from AFL circles. The strengths Benjamin has shown by stepping up into a key defender role for the NT Thunder senior side include:
- Football character and read of play
- Composure and ability to perform in pressure situations.
Benjamin was Runner Up in the Inpex U23 Player Award for NT Thunder, this season and was awarded ‘Best Young Talent’ for 2012, recognising his consistent contribution to the team’s success. In 2011 Benjamin graduated from Year 12 at Casuarina Senior College, receiving his NTCE, also partaking in the Clontarf Academy as part of the leadership group and being awarded with the ‘Colt of the Year’ award – the highest honour for students of the academy. On the back of his performance at the U18s national carnival and with the NT Thunder senior side, Benjamin aims to nominate for the draft in 2012 to secure a place on an AFL list – following in the footsteps of older brother Dean Rioli (Essendon Bombers), uncle Maurice (Richmond Tigers) and cousin (Cyril Rioli Jnr).
Press release 2012…
Aspiring sports stars from the Northern Territory now have access to first-class talent management support and service due to an exciting new partnership between NT based Starwin Management and Victorian based Blue Rock Sports. The partnership marks a new era in support for talented athletes from the NT.
Starwin Management is excited to now be an agent for Blue Rock Sports, a boutique sports management company that puts player interest at heart, drawing upon the skills and experience of its Directors; Anthony Koutoufides, George Haros and Paul Koutoufides. Blue Rock offer support with coaching and mentoring as well as business, legal and financial management services – on a daily basis.
Blue Rock have an established NT connection, with former Western Bulldogs midfielder Nathan Djerrkura (from Yirrkala) part of their talent list. Anthony and Paul Koutoufides traveled to Darwin in 2011 to support the Rioli Fund for Indigenous Health fundraiser and tribute night for the late Maurice Rioli. Anthony, a former Carlton Football club captain, as well as premiership player and All Australian player was also a hit with the crowd as he shared his life and sports experiences at the Nightcliff Football Club NTFL Grand Final Breakfast.
Director George Haros also visited the Top End in late 2012. Excited by the talent of young sportspeople in the NT, Blue Rock are looking to expand their reach across the Territory.
Paul Koutoufides explains; “the partnership with Starwin Management, an NT owned and operated social enterprise with the focus of developing champions in sport, life and community will provide local knowledge and a contact point on the ground for us in the Territory. We anticipate many players will benefit from the partnership, and with upcoming National AFL draft, the timing is perfect for players to sign on with Blue Rock to ensure they have the best possible chance for success.”
Starwin Management will offer localised support with mentoring, liaison and promotion through its talent programs. Starwin launched the successful TalentEd program in 2011 and has a partnership with Hoops for Health, to deliver the program for 16 aspiring sports stars from across the Top End.
Karina Gray, Director of Starwin Management believes; “This is a great opportunity for young Territorians seeking to further their dreams, whether it be a career in AFL or another sport. I look forward to working with Blue Rock to provide rock solid management support for our rising stars. I encourage athletes to contact us to find out how we can assist them with their sporting career.”