Cyril Rioli Looks Back At Playing His First Grand Final At Just 19 Years Old

Cyril Rioli was just 19 years old when he won his first of four premierships with Hawthorn. He sat down with Mark Howard on The Howie Games and opens up about what it was like to walk out on the MCG that day, after only paying his first game of footy in the NT a few years before.


(from 8:23)

In this episode of The Howie Games, Mark Howard sits down with Cyril Rioli, the esteemed former Australian rules footballer, to unravel the layers of his remarkable journey. From his roots in the Tiwi Islands to the pinnacle of success at the Hawthorn Football Club, Rioli’s story is a testament to passion, instinct, and unwavering team unity.

The episode gives a glimpse into Rioli’s childhood, growing up amidst the unique culture of the Tiwi Islands. He shares his early experiences, painting a vivid picture of life in the Tiwis and the integral role football played in shaping his identity.

Rioli’s love for footy blossomed early, and the mini-episodes delve into his journey, including the transition to the Hawthorn Football Club. From playing his first organized footy game to the emotional highs of his first grand final, Rioli’s narrative unfolds with gripping details.

The podcast explores the emotional rollercoaster of Rioli’s career, including poignant moments and the exhilarating experience of winning three premierships in a row. Rioli reflects on the significance of playing with instinct, attributing his success to a deep connection with the game.

This is a mini version of a longer chat Howie had with Cyril Rioli back in 2017. In the full episode of The Howie Games with Cyril Rioli, Cyril and Howie reminisce on a fishing trip they went on, Cyril shares his favourite and toughest memories in footy and his reason for retiring… you can listen to that full episode HERE.


Thanks for listening to Footy Talk this year! We’ll back in 2024, but stay tuned to hear more Howie Games mini episodes drop across the next month!