Cotchin tips tough AFL bushfire contest

Trent Cotchin expects the AFL bushfire relief match to be a genuine contest at Marvel Stadium.
Trent Cotchin expects the AFL bushfire relief match to be a genuine contest at Marvel Stadium.

Trent Cotchin expects AFL stars' egos to ensure high intensity when state-based football returns for the first time in more than a decade on Friday night.

Fans of the concept were buoyed when Victoria and a composite All-Stars team were picked to clash at Marvel Stadium in the name of charity.

But some detractors have expressed fears the preseason contest will descend into a glorified training run, more like the widely ridiculed AFLX tournament than the hard-nosed State of Origin battles of decades gone by.

"The reality is a lot of these players that have been picked to play are incredibly talented, but they're also competitive beasts," Richmond premiership captain Cotchin told AAP.

"That's why they've been at the top of their game for a long period of time

"I reckon once the ball is bounced and you're out there, it's effectively a game (for points) and it does bring competition.

"There will be a few egos out there that don't want to be shown up."

Cotchin has not pulled on a 'Big V' jumper since representing his state as a junior.

The 29-year-old has since gone on to play 234 games for Richmond, lead the club to two flags and be named a joint winner of the 2012 Brownlow Medal.

"It's been a while, but it doesn't feel that long ago, which is scary," Cotchin said.

"It shows how quick your footy career can ramp up."

Despite welcoming the return of representative football this year, Cotchin at this stage is not keen to see it become a regular feature on the AFL calendar.

"I don't know if I'm a supporter of it every year, but maybe my opinion of it will change after I experience it on the weekend," he said.

"I love the fact that we can come together and make it a unique experience for the players, the fans and supporters, but also contribute to the community."

Cotchin is one of six Richmond premiership players set to take part in the bushfire relief match, he represents Victoria alongside Dustin Martin, Tom Lynch and Bachar Houli.

Fellow Tigers Shane Edwards and Jack Riewoldt will play for the All-Stars.

Australian Associated Press