The season’s over.
Or at least it is for Richmond fans.
Or let’s be honest, it’s done for everyone else too except for Hawthorn fans, because we may as well give them the Cup now (although I’m more than happy to be proven wrong; I’m hoping I’m jinxing them right now).
Finals hopes have slipped from a fourth(!) consecutive year, to slim, to mathematical, to none. And because I barrack for Richmond, my un-squashable hope immediately transfers to next year. Because we only need a few changes, right? A bit of confidence? The ability to tackle? That’s all we need. Surely. The Tigers have only won two finals in my 23 years on the planet – and one of them was when I was two. We’re so overdue for a finals win the library has blocked our card from borrowing until we pay up. Or offer a few players up to the footy gods.
So here it goes. The 2016 Richmond list assessment, done two-thirds of the way through the season. In the tradition of the best footy journalists, I’ve made the big calls ridiculously early in order to provoke discussion. So comment away!
B: Vlastuin, Astbury, Grimes
HB: Houli, Rance, Yarran (fingers crossed)
C: Grigg, Edwards, Menadue
HF: Deledio, Griffiths, Lennon
F: Rioli, Riewoldt, McBean
Foll: Hampson, Miles, Cotchin
I/C: McIntosh, Lambert, C Ellis, Prestia (probably wishful thinking/another recruit or draftee)
While this is not a Hawthorn/Sydney-standard team, it’s not a disaster. There’s hope there. Only issue is how many of them are playing this year, and how woeful we’ve been despite that.
Every club needs them. Often unglamorous, but essential if you have an injury year from hell like the Queensland teams.
Short, Castagna, Markov, Drummond – have shown good signs, need more time
Batchelor, Broad, C Moore, Hunt – in case of emergency
Soldo, Chol – the definition of development players
Butler – yet to debut, has had injuries, needs another year
We thank them for their service to the club, and wish them well in their future endeavours:
Chaplin, Morris, Maric – heart and soul players, but the time has come
Elton, Vickery – could be useful trades (please no Ty-bashing. I met him earlier this year at his restaurant when shadowing a journalist interviewing him. He’s smart, articulate and friendly enough to still remember the intern’s name at the end of the night, give her free pizza, and laugh when she starts scoffing her face. I can never be mad at Ty again, but the time might have come to “mutually part ways”)
B Ellis – a bit left-field. “Everyone” says we need to trade one of the big five. But we can’t. We’d be on our knees. Ellis would be great for a team close to a flag and in need of a hard runner. Because he can definitely run. Not the most accountable/damaging, but very good at picking up 25-odd disposals.
A Moore, Townsend, Marcon – possibly not AFL-standard (but who am I to say?)