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Martin training well with Tigers in AFL
Melissa Woods
12:07 AEST Mon Dec 10 2012

Defender Bachar Houli says new Richmond assistant coach Mark Williams has taken Tigers' wild child Dustin Martin under his wing with the powerhouse midfielder a stand-out in AFL pre-season training.

The Tigers hit the track on Monday following a 10-day camp in the heat of Cairns.

Houli said 2004 Port Adelaide premiership coach and former Greater Western Sydney assistant Williams had spent time with every player during the trip.

The club reportedly has concerns with Martin's off-field behaviour and Houli said Williams was paying him - along with some other young players - special attention.

"He's there for the development of our group and has taken a few young players like Dustin Martin and Reece Conca under his wing," said Houli.

"He's going to show some leadership for them and be a mentor for them."

Houli said Martin's effort on the training track couldn't be faulted.

"The way Dustin's going about his training these days is extraordinary.

"He's right up there with the fitness and skills and he's become more vocal on the track as well.

"In this short period of time Dustin's come a long way and I've no doubt that's going to turn into good footy once the season begins."

The far north Queensland camp was a mix of tough training and an Amazing Race-style competition, with Houli a member of the winning team.

"The conditions were quite warm and the humidity was very challenging but it was a great balance of the physical aspect and the mental.

"In terms of the physical bit I was up there but with all of the trivia questions I was no good.

"It just shows you that team work is very important."

Houli fronted the media after being recognised with a national award, initiated by former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, for his work promoting harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Houli is the first devout Muslim to play in the AFL and was instrumental in the creation of full-time prayer rooms at three AFL venues.

This year the 24-year-old launched the Bachar Houli Cup, an inter-Islamic schools football competition.

"It's a massive honour to win the award," he said.

"It means a lot to me and to everyone who does well to break down the barriers."

He will be presented with the award at a ceremony at the University of South Australia, who along with the Australia Day Council established the award.


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