AFL superstar Dustin Martin is trying to organise a trip to New Zealand to visit his exiled father Shane, according to Richmond CEO Brendon Gale.
The 29-year-old has turned his attention to family after enjoying a well-earned break in Queensland, following an AFL season in which he claimed an unprecedented third Norm Smith Medal and another premiership with the Tigers.
“He had a good break and he’s trying to organise to see his father,” Gale told 7NEWS’ Tom Browne.
“It’s important for him to have a really good break, his preparation is meticulous.
“For him it’s really important to take the foot off the gas.”
It is unclear on what grounds the Richmond star is aiming to enter New Zealand, given entry to the country is currently unavailable to all but Kiwi citizens and permanent residents.
There is however a provision for emergency entries to the country on compassionate grounds such as visiting a dying relative.
Dustin has been unable to see his father in 2020 due to the strict international travel restrictions brought about by COVID.
Shane is the former president of Australia’s Rebels motorcycle gang and was deported to New Zealand in 2016 under Australia’s Immigration Act after the country launched a crackdown on bikie gangs.
He watched on television from New Zealand back in October as Dusty scorched the Gabba turf to power Richmond to a third AFL premiership in the space of four years.
“We spoke to him after the game but as usual it’s all noisy, you can’t hear stuff, but you could hear how excited he was,” Shane told the NZ Herald.
“It’s pretty hard to see it on TV when I should be there, really, but that’s another story.
“It’s still a proud moment but I would have loved to be there, but yeah, you know, it is what it is, don’t want to take the moment away from it.”
The ex-bikie boss made headlines earlier in February 2020 when he attempted to Australia after a High Court decision ruled people of Indigenous heritage can’t be deported.
Martin claimed to have an Aboriginal grandmother from Tasmania.
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But Border Force officers detained him at the airport overnight and he was put on the first Qantas flight to Auckland.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the work of Border Force officials at the time.
“The border force took swift action today and good for them for doing their job,” he said.
Shane was first deported in 2016 after being convicted of serious offences including aggravated assault and drug trafficking.