The long wait is almost over with the 2017 AFL  season set to kick off on Thursday night.

The season opens with the clash between traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond in front of what should be a hefty crowd at the MCG.

Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt says he’s excited about the new season with the Tigers expecting plenty from its small forwards, with big things expected from exciting First Nations star Daniel Rioli (pictured) going into his second season.