Footy: Tigers to do it the Hard way

By Adam Bulman

Let’s be blunt: Terry Wallace’s tenure as Tiger coach was a totally atrocious time for the Richmond Football Club, one that will be remembered badly, or preferably not at all. Just off the top of my head, I can think of many mistakes: Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls and Cleve Hughes in the 2005 draft, and trading our second-round pick for Jordan McMahon (who, conveniently, chose the worst time possible to kick a winning goal for Richmond), were two bad ones.

Overall, there was no evidence to suggest that Terry was not continuing the Frawley trend of picking up mature-age players from other clubs. Trent Knobel, Patrick Bowden, Kent Kingsley… I just shudder looking at those names. Clearly Terry was shying away from a rebuild. Also, he was not able to develop the players adequately – regularly the Tiger players found themselves outskilled and outmuscled. Oakley-Nicholls, Hughes, Danny Meyer and Adam Pattison were just a few players whose development was as slow as a pack of one-legged tortoises, so they found themselves off the list.

As they say, short cuts make long delays, and this was definitely true of Richmond. Understandably, diehard Richmond fans were expecting success after a positive finish to 2009, particularly with Ben Cousins in the team. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Reality was handed to us in Round 1 with a humiliating 83-point loss. The next day, Carlton fans ran rampant, sinking the boot into the sorrowful Tiger fans in workplaces and schools around the state.

As the angry mutters of the Tiger faithful grew in volume, Terry was quickly replaced in the coaching seat by Matthew Richardson’s brother-in-law Jade “the Blade” Rawlings, who initially showed positive signs by selecting the young players, but by season’s end we had discovered he was not our answer as coach.

But now we have Hardwick, and already there are good signs. The players have been willing to work hard for their coach, as he has made it explicitly clear that anyone who is not willing to put in the hard yards will soon find themselves off the list. Many players, such as Jack Riewoldt, have put on a considerable amount of muscle this pre-season. The younger midfielders are learning the tricks of the trade off Cousins and Wayne Campbell, Brendon Lade is helping Angus Graham, Tyrone Vickery and the other ruckmen develop, and Justin Leppitsch is working closely with the young defenders.

Over the offseason, Richmond drafted some solid young blood too. Dustin Martin will be a star – he is a tough-as-nails midfielder with good footskills. Ben Griffiths and David Astbury shape as key position options, while Matt Dea and Jeromey Webberley could be useful rebounding defenders. Troy Taylor could be anything. I know Richmond doesn’t have a great record with “could be anything” types of players, but now we have a competent coach.

All in all, 2010 probably won’t shape as an overly successful year in terms of wins, but I expect to see some solid improvement, particularly from players like Cotchin (if he can get fully fit), Post, Riewoldt, Connors and Collins. As a Richmond fan I’ve learnt the dangers of being optimistic, but I definitely think that with Hardwick and the crew behind them, one can see the Tigers playing finals footy in the not-too-distant future.

I hope.


  1. Stephen Cooke says

    Wallace summed up his dreadful reign when asked his highlights in a five year career – he said recruiting Cousins and moving Richo into the middle. In 5 years – moving one player and recruiting another nobody else wanted. Unbelievable. And I’m a Geelong supporter.

  2. And to think Wallace considered Richmond’s list superior to Hawthorn’s in 04, so he went to Richmond…why couldn’t he have gone to screw up Hawthorn instead?

  3. Stephen Cooke says

    Yes Adam, imagine if you’d recruited Clarkson instead. Fair chance he would have recruited Buddy and Roughead if nothing else.

    And Bomber Thomson wet to Geelong instead of Richmond when you appointed Frawley. Apparently Bomber thought Richmond was the better list but had aleady agreed to coach the Cats. That last point is probably moot, as I can’t see the Tigers giving any coach 10 years!

  4. Richard Naco says

    Thomson went to Geelong and said it would take 6-7 years to win the big one. Can anybody name many clubs that would cut a coach that much slack & stay true to them?

  5. ^Stephen: I think Clarko would have more likely taken Deledio with pick 1 and Roughy/Buddy with pick 4. Hawthorn would have got Tambling and the other one with picks 2 and 5 under Wallace.

    If I remember correctly, just before Geelong had their giant winning streak in 07, I believe Bomber’s job was under a fair bit of pressure. Granted, that was his 7th year as coach, but Geelong were never in the bottom 4 under Thompson.

  6. Adam, i disagree with your comment about Hardwick being a competent coach, he hasn’t proved himself yet, but i do agree once he coaches one season he will be remarkably better than Wallace.

    Another bad decision by Wallace was the delisting of Cam Howat. Why? He was a good young player.

  7. Stephen Cooke says

    Bomber was under a fair bit of pressure at the end of 2006 but they stuck with him and reaped the rewards. If a Clarko-led Richmond took Deledio and one of Roughead or Franklin it’s still a win-win. I do look at the lack of development coaching at Richmond over the years and wonder how guns at other clubs would have fared. Also, how would the likes of Tambling gone at somewhere like Hawthorn or the Bulldogs. I’ll be very keen to see how Oakley-Nicholls goes at West Coast with their resources.

  8. Josh, I was also surprised and disappointed to see Howat delisted, we definitely had worse players survive the cull that year. I can’t see him fitting into our best 22 now though.

    Although he hasn’t won a game yet as coach, I’m optimistic about Hardwick. There have been many good signs so far.

  9. I also thought Meyer had promise but oh well, he wasn’t going to be a star.

    I know what you mean, i’m very optimistic about Brad Scott and think he’ll be the best coach in North Melbourne’s recent history, and he hasn’t even coached a match yet!

  10. You’re a North boy? I thought you guys did great in the draft. Cunnington will be a good player.

  11. Michael Allan says

    Josh, do you consider Scott to be a competent coach. Youy shouldn’t cause Hardwicks’s done just as much if not more (being apart of a premiership coaching staff at Hawthorn) than Scott.

    Howat = Spud
    Meyer = Super Spud

  12. ^ Oakley-Nicholls – Super Duper Spud. Won’t get a game at West Coast.
    Michael, who do you barrack for?

  13. Michael Allan says

    Richmond my friend.

    And when you barrack for Richmond you have to look for the positives.

    Terry started well playing Deledio and Tambling right from the start he just got impatient and started grabbing recycled players like you stated.

    While the Mcmahon deal didn’t go our way still keep in mind we also grabbed Morton for a third round pick which has worked well for us.

    And although we have stuffed up our earlier picks you’ve also got to look at the other end. We’re one of the best teams with recruiting from picks 50+, I’d go as far as to say that in our squad now a team of our later picks would be better than a team of our early picks. Guys like Jackson, Newman, Foley, Nahas and Collins to name a few. You

    Don’t understand why people are so keen on Connors. Has played some fantastic games like against Hawthorn Round 20 2008 but had a terrible season. He was lucky in my opinion.

  14. Yeah I agree with almost all of that, but Connors has got quite a lot of potential, despite apparently being lazy and having a poor attitude. It’s a make or break year for him, and if he pulls his finger out he could be a very good player.

  15. Just wondering, how old are you Adam? if your a teenager, i’m gonna scream. 5 teenage-Richmond supporters on the Almanac is too much to handle.

    Michael, what Scott has done off-field is what makes him one of the best North coaches, like the evening BBQ’s at training, all-access for fans and he brings so much excitement.

    We went very well at the draft, probably the best out of the league. We got Cunnington, who oozes leadership, skill and toughness, Bastinac, who is one of the fastest players in the game, Black, who is a quality key-forward, and Daw, who could be anything, not to mention Kennedy, Scott and Norris. Future is looking bright for the Roos next season, not so bright for the Tigers in 2010 but beyond that they are a top-6 side.

  16. Yep I’m a teenager, I’m 17 :) 5 teenage Tiger fans? Wow thats a hell of a lot, who are the other ones?

  17. Michael Allan says

    Wow Josh, that’s a bit much isn’t it? One of the best North coaches and he hasn’t even coached a game yet. I woouldn’t put him in the same category as Barrassi just yet.

    And once again, first year players aren’t going to make a big impact straight away. You can’t rely to make finals because of any of the players you mentioned in 2010. Be patient Joshua.

  18. Comment 9, i said he could be one of the best coaches in North’s recent history, i know i didn’t back it up in the my previous comment but oh well.

    There’s Michael, Dom, Jeffrey, yourself and Cath, but she doesn’t write for the website, only the book. There’s other teens on here too

  19. And yeah it is surprising that there is that many Tigers on here, i wouldn’t be caught dead supporting the yellow and black

  20. Michael Allan says

    Well Josh i was going off comment 15 which says

    what Scott has done off-field is what makes him one of the best North coaches

    I didn’t read comment 9.

    Well I’d be ashamed barracking for a team that constantly threatens to relocate and is forced to wear an away strip during home games. :D

  21. Cmon, jump on the bandwagon, you know you want to :) nah just kiddin

    I wouldn’t say North are one of my favourite non-Richmond teams, but they’re one of the ones I dislike the least, if that makes sense.

  22. How old are you two?

  23. Michael Allan says

    16 going on 17.

  24. 16 in August

    Well I’d be ashamed barracking for a team that constantly threatens to relocate and is forced to wear an away strip during home games. :D

    Michael, i thought you hated using smiley’s? And at least we have a proper clash strip, not a variation of the home jumper with yellow panels down the side. And we stopped playing home games interstate last year, and Richmond started playing games at the Gold Coast, what does that say? It might not mean your relocating, but your choosing to play in the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast rather than Melbourne

  25. im 18 in May! :)
    Dustin Martin= Hot :)

  26. Richmond “started playing games” at the Gold Coast? More like Richmond “played one match” at the Gold Coast. And how the hell can we be saying one club is better than another because of their clash strip? Richmond have a better home strip anyway, and the best song in the AFL, although I’d like to hear it more often. :(

    Oh, and hi Danielle.

  27. Michael Allan says

    I’ll pay that one Josh. You had some good rebuttal points.


    Smiley’s are fine in moderation. It’s when you use them excessiveley (like our resident Collingwood scumbag Dannielle Eid) that the smiley loses it’s meaning and purpose.

    Josh maybe not last year but before then it was the SCG then homebush then Gold Coast. I couldn’t have grown up barrqacking for a team with all those different home grounds.

    We only played one game at the Gold Coast Josh, I was there and beleive me it was not ‘glitz and glamour’ like you say it is.

    If you ask me it was a very smart economical move as we were given heaps of money for it and drew a crowd just as big as you would back home against Adelaide. And we did without speculation over relocation.

    As for the clash strip. I’d rather the clash strip look as close to the original as possible. And we only have to wear it one game a year, and beleive it or not, it’s an AWAY game.

  28. Hey Adam ;)

    Adam, the clash strip thingo is very important to us teens here.

  29. resident Collingwood scumbag?

    and he wonders why we dont get along…
    Mikey are u secretly blond??

  30. Michael Allan says

    Yes Adam I’m glad our club has the matureity not to make a huge fuss over what we’re going to wear and when. We have our sash, we don’t change it, we never will and if we need to have a clash, so be it we’ll just paint yellow down our sides.

  31. Don’t forget Manuka :) and my mistake, i thought i saw Richmond had been assigned a match for GC Stadium this season?

    We wear our clash strip 2 times a year, once against Geelong (fair) and once against Collingwood (totally unfair) but you know as much as i do that we only wore it against Collingwood because of Sir Edward McGuire, and if Richmond and the Pies DID in fact clash, im sure the Tigers would be running out in their clash jumper if they had a home game against the Scraggies.

    I will give you that Adam, you do have one of the best theme songs in the AFL, although the Freo and Power song have been getting a lot of play on my ipod recently, don’t worry im ashamed already.

  32. Michael Allan says

    Haha, Danni you deserve that title after the way you speak to me.

  33. hmmm well excuse me for having a princess tantrum when my boys wear that ugly white thing or white shorts!

  34. On a totally unrelated topic, did anyone see Clijsters get thrashed in the tennis?

  35. WHAT! Mikey im all politeness (As Jane Austen would say) when i talk 2 you.

  36. Nah sorry Adam i only watch Federer. :)

  37. Nah, but can somebody tell me why Clijsters is called a supermum? Im not critizising, i just want to figure out why reporters keep calling her “Supermum Kim Clijsters”

  38. Michael Allan says

    Yeha it was good to see, now the press can finally stop reporting about her.

    And talk about my girl, the number 1 girl, Dinara Safina!!! I was so angrey when they didn’t show her game today. Luckily she won 6-1 6-2

    Danni Safina, is to me what Federer is to you. She’s gonna win this year for sure.

  39. She didn’t seem that super tonight. Petrova crapped on her.

    I like Federer a lot, he’s modest and has a very dry sense of humour. He was funny at the Hit for Haiti which I went to.

    My little brother said Petrova was a fat whale. :D

  40. Michael Allan says

    Cause shen had a daugher and came back and in her first grand slam back she won the U.S open. People should just get over it and talk about Safina. Nobody ever reports about her even tho she’s the best. lol

  41. I can’t wait for the Hewitt – Baghdatis match. Haha did anyone hear about the ballboy wetting himself on court the other day?

  42. Federer is GOD.

  43. status-DYING at comment 39

  44. So your another Melbournian Adam?

  45. Jeez danni, is that the first time you’ve died this week?

  46. i havnt died since Dom said he got Feds autograph.

  47. That’s a delicious effort, good to see you’ve cut down on your dying episodes

  48. lmaooo yeah i know :)

    i seriously think if Roger had answered my question instead of Nadal i would not have survived to see a another footy season.

  49. Yeah I’m another Melburnian, is that particularly surprising?

    ^41: No, didn’t hear about that, I would have hated to be that ballboy though…how the hell would he wet himself? Did Serena threaten to stick a tennis ball down his throat?

  50. Well, in the eyes of the Almanac, you wont be seeing the 2010 footy season coz “school is more important”

  51. Michael Allan says

    Haha very funny Adam.

    Anyway I’m off now, nice meeting you Adam.

    Cya Josh.
    Talk to you later Resident Collingwood scumbag.

  52. ohhhhhhhhhhh..Mikey is redmeat!
    get it REDMEAT (deadmeat)
    hahhahahahah lol

  53. Lol im the only one from the country (the “real” world)

    Nah, it was in the Hewitt match, although i would do more than wet myself if Serena looked the wrong way at me. Apparantly and he went to stretch to pick up a ball and it just went on him, i think he was 10 years old. It was in the Herald Sun, you don’t get the quality information like that in The Age, do you Michael?

  54. Bye ranga

  55. Cya Michael, nice meeting you too.

    Danielle, I’m guessing from your age you’re in Year 12 too?

  56. yeah im in year 12, eventhough i may act immature thanks to a certain redhead! lol

  57. Guessing thats Michael? Speaking of redheads, I was just making an AFL All-Ranga team, watch out for it :)

    What school do you go to?

  58. Mercy College

    lol just make sure their jumper isnt red or orange i dont want my eyes to burn!

  59. Nah the jumper will be white, with a tomato sauce bottle on the front :D

    I go to Eltham High, I’m an northeastern boy :)

  60. ohhh lol well im a poshy all girls school chick LOL
    Yayy my pretty coach piece is up! :)

  61. Posh girls school? That’s funny, my school doesnt even have a uniform!

  62. lol well mine does and that includes the balzer! jumper is not allowed to be worn in public with out blazer..blahh blahh blahh

  63. Do you have to wear ties? :)

  64. with the winter uniform yes we do have to wear ties.
    we are also constantly told off for wearing makeup and nail polish although i only disobey the makeup rule lol

  65. I think girls look cute in ties for some reason lol…

    I like not having a uniform, but I wish the school would ban coloured skinnyjeans. All the year 8 wankbags walk around in them should be kicked out and put in the shitty uniform-wearing schools nearby :)

  66. lmaoo ohhh so u can say that about girls looking cute in ties but i cant say the thing about Laidley’s hair? LOL :p
    well i like wearing ties only cos its not ugly its just a navy blue.
    i love skinny jeans, black ones :)

  67. Harsh words Adam, but i know what you mean. Our school has a uniform, but doesn’t really enforce it. Although they almost suspended me for wearing those Zaidee rainbow shoe laces.

  68. Hahaha, it was more the use of the word fluffy. I admit, my favourite thing about women’s tennis is the pretty girls, especially Kirilenko, she’s my desktop background ;)

  69. lol mine is a photo of me and brother at my cousins wedding.

    well i gtg, cya guys.

    Danni :)

  70. Sure you can like the pretty girls in Tennis, but liking the 40+ year old men in the coaching department??

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