Footy: Year of the Tiger

By Domenic Favata

According to the Chinese zodiac, Richmond should have a pretty good year. That has been promised for years, but will Richmond, under new coach Damien Hardwick, finally take the giant step all the fans have been waiting for?

When I heard about one of former coach Terry Wallace’s theories of coaching — no weights — I disagreed. I thought that to be a successful side you need to have strong bodies. Just look at Geelong and St Kilda. You can’t just have a young, raw and quick team to really succeed in the big time. Yes, Essendon did this by making the eight, but in their first final, they got flogged by a tough, bigger bodied Adelaide outfit.

A good team needs to show that they are tough and motivated to succeed. During Wallace’s last few games, the team wasn’t motivated. They weren’t playing for the coach (not that it was Terry’s fault) and they weren’t hard at the ball. If lifting heavy rocks over their heads and sprinting along Bells Beach hasn’t motivated Richmond, I don’t know what will.

I believe Hardwick will re-install the element of toughness into the team which has been shown through the recruiting of Dustin Martin, a young, tough midfielder from Castlemaine. Hardwick has also filled the club with young talent, instead of wasting picks on washed-up hacks from other clubs. I don’t necessarily believe that Richmond will sky rocket into the top eight; no, the goal is to play consistent, tough, competitive football against any side in the AFL.

The year 2010 will herald the post-Richo era. While the favourite son exits, a new opportunity arrives for the likes of Riewolt, Morton and Post. The younger forward line should come along nicely, with the addition of recruits, Ben Griffiths and David Astbury, and new forward coach Daniel Daly.

For the forwards to succeed, the ball needs to get there quickly via the midfielders. Deleidio and Foley have what it takes,  Cousins hasn’t lost a touch of his class, Tambling had a breakout year and Cotchin, provided he has an injury-free year, could explode onto the scene. Dustin Martin should slot into that midfield just fine and the insiders of Tuck, Thomson and Hislop will provide the toughness around the ball.

The ruck stocks aren’t too bad. Young Angus Graham and Andrew Browne will be boosted by the help of veteran Troy Simmonds. Midfield coaches  Brendon Lade and Wayne Campbell will help develop the potentially elite midfield. But we’ve all heard that a thousand times, haven’t we?

The backline is the area where we struggled last year but with new coach, Justin Leppitch, it may relive the promise it showed in 2008. With the tall timber of Thursfield, Moore, Mc Guane and the rebounding Farmer, Newman, Mc Mahon and draftee Matthew Dea the backline should progress. Hard nut Jake King will provide that tough, tagging role and recruit Dylan Grimes may slot into the backline at some stage during the year.

The delisting and cuts from the list were well done. Some of them should have been done years ago; some players who I thought would have been cut weren’t. But all in all, it opened up the opportunity to fill the club with lost of draftees that will be great for the future.

Some of the young players need to stand up and show what it takes. Trent Cotchin needs to have an injury-free year and show that he really is a gem and Jack Riewolt needs to stand up and fill the hole left vacant by Matthew Richardson (by the looks of it he has beefed up). But the whole team needs to develop a confidence with each other.

If a young Richmond FC grab 8-10 wins, that would be a successful year in my books. But it all comes down to finding the correct mindset, passion, desire and ruthless attitude which will propel Richmond up the ladder. It is, I hope, a year of progress. The year of the Tiger awaits.


  1. Good piece Domenic, and welcome to the Almanac.

    I want to see Richmond improve, but at the same time enjoy seeing them languish at the bottom of the ladder, if you know what i mean. Richmond are a very good side to see struggle, even if they beat my team on Anzac Day and drew with us :(

  2. Steve Healy says

    Welcome Dom, I hope the Tigers can have a good year.

    Hope this is one of many pieces to come

  3. Hey Domenic :)
    welcome to the Almanac, aka the place for over-obsessed footy fans.
    Nice piece by the way.
    You are so lucky to have Dustin Martin at Richmond, he’s gonna be a real talent.


  4. thanks guys:)

  5. Damian Watson says

    Great piece Dom,

    I like the fresh new line-up of coaching staff the Tigers have brought to their club, I’m sure Hardwick will work well with the calibre of Campbell, Lade and Leppitsch.

    It certainly is a new era for the Tigers, Vickery and Post will add to the big men down at Tigerland.

  6. Steve Healy says

    guys, lets move our conversation to here.

    Yeah, Riewoldt, Morton, Vickery and Post will make a great forward line

  7. yeh, they show promise but will they succeed? thanks for welcoming me to the almanac guys :)

  8. Domenic, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself? Your date of birth, if you play footy, what city/town you live in etc.?

    Status – watching the Simpsons, haven’t seen the episode on at the moment..

  9. Yeh sure- Umm…
    Was born 7/6/94 and i live in Point Cook in Melbourne, VIC. I play footy for Point Cook FC as well as tennis and golf. I am in year 10 at St Pauls College in Altona North. Love to write as well as relax, currently have alot of homework for year 10 literature.

  10. Oh so your the oldest Year 10 member now. I’m the only one out of the kids off the Almanac to live in country Victoria, all you bloody city kids..

  11. hey, i live in in the city, but like the country too :)

  12. Lol we’ve had this sort of argument many times before on the Almanac, whether the city is better than the country

  13. are we the only kids on here?

  14. There is the Fab 5 which is Damo, Steve, Danni, myself and Michael Allan (he is in New Zealand at the moment, also goes for Richmond) and there’s also Zander and Cath who write for the book, but don’t write for this website

  15. can u get chosen to write for the book? or is it to hard?

  16. Well, there’s a lot of writers for the book, and it sorta depends on whether your writing is good and if you impress John and Paul with your articles. I didn’t think i’d get picked for the book, but i had two articles go in. All of the Fab 5 got one article in, as well as a special mention at the book launch :) but if you regulary submit pieces for the Almanac and if they are to a high standard, you should get a spot in the book. Although you probably won’t get a high-profile match, none of us kids did. (Except Danni, she got Collingwood v Carlton) hope that helps

  17. yeh, thanks, who do u go for?

  18. Hi again :)
    ohhh you play tennis?
    don’t mind me asking but who is your favourite Tennis pley?

  19. that should have said *player* sorry lol.

  20. North Melbourne, best team there is

  21. Steve Healy says

    nah the Dees are the best team mate.

    The backyard cricket game didnt go so well guys

  22. Yeh, danielle, fav player is Lleyton Hewitt, love his spirit and is a real fan-friendly guy, by the way, Richmond are the best, lol

  23. Steve Healy says

    Another question Dom, how did you find out about the Almanac?

  24. Josh Barnstable says


  25. I got the 2008 book, and saw cath durkin’s article in it, and i want to be a journalist so i emailed Paul and John and they told me to start writing for the website

  26. Steve Healy says

    oh cool, thats what I did this time last year. Your at the right place

  27. how often do u guys write a piece?

  28. Steve Healy says

    just when we feel like it, me and Josh together have about 130-140 pieces combined, and Damo, Danni and Michael have a fair few as well

  29. I counted up our pieces the other day:

    Me: 74
    Steve: 65
    Danni: 32
    Damo: 18, Michael: 18

    Me and Steve have the most out of the website

  30. Steve Healy says

    Josh should only have 2 more than me though, if all the season review thing wasnt split

  31. Hewitt? hmm interesting choice for some reason i thought you would say Nadal.
    Personally, i’m a Federer fanatic.

  32. i love federer as well, but hewitt wins me, when it comes to skill, federer all the way, ps:i added u on msn from your email, but im not sure if it is ur msn one?

  33. i was thinking of writing a tennis article

  34. oh lol sorry to break it to you but i dont have msn on my computer lol.

    i can’t watch a Federer match without being left in awe, his talent is just amazing, theres no one like him.

  35. Damian Watson says

    Yeah 18 reports sounds about right.

    Didn’t Hewitt win today at Kooyong?

    Are you of Italian origin Dom?

  36. yeh thats true, nadal dosent win me over though

  37. hewitt won 6-0 6-2 against seppi in sydney, yeh im italian origin

  38. do u play tennis Danielle?

  39. Nah i don’t Dom.
    i used to play for my school’s bat tennis team and i really enjoyed playing but, well lets just say im not as active as i used to be.

  40. what school do u go to?

  41. I play tennis, my team is on top of the ladder and we start our season again Janurary 30

  42. ohhh…by school tennis team i meant year 5 and 6 primary school.

  43. Damian Watson says

    Josh which book did you end up purchasing, that Side by Side one or the Geelong book?

  44. Haven’t got it yet Damo, haven’t been to Shepp on a weekday but i may be going tomorrow or Friday, plus Mum offered if i wanted to go to Shepp for the day with a few mates. You guys should come down! :)

  45. Damian Watson says

    lol I wish I could but i’m going to the 20/20 with a few mates on Friday, the others might come though.

  46. Steve Healy says

    shepparton, eh? I dont know how i’d get there, im gonna be passing around that area on the way to my holiday though.

    Status- just finished up another session of backyard cricket

  47. Damian Watson says

    lol I was maent to say the others might come to Shepparton in comment 45.

    How many runs did you make this time Steve?

  48. Steve Healy says

    I made a century, a few ducks, a 50, you know just the random scores you get in backyard cricket

  49. Dom, you should check out my Federer piece on this website when u get the chance.
    My dedication defiantly shows in that piece.

  50. Settle down Federer lovers :P

  51. Steve Healy says


  52. Man i cant wait to see him play!!
    so excited! im still not over the fact that he is breathing the same air as me!

  53. yes lovers of Federer!

  54. Mum bought the Goats a car today..

  55. Danielle, ive seen him play live and got his autograph :)

  56. She’s gonna ddddiiiieeeeee now

  57. Steve Healy says

    nah shes already dead

  58. Nice to say that about your girlfriend Steve

  59. Steve Healy says

    no! I take that back :)

  60. id like to see that article danielle, one day

  61. U..SAW HIM…PLAY..

    STATUS- dead

  62. haha, but i lost his autograph :(

  63. Finally..took us a year and she’s finally dead

  64. haha, ill try and get it next week when i go

  65. Steve Healy says

    should we do a funeral?

  66. yeh, u do the eulogy

  67. Yeah, get all of her favourite players, tennis players, singers, actors and she’ll come back to life, then dddiiieee again

  68. lol

  69. Steve Healy says

    Danielle Eid was a great person- especially for a Collingwood supporter- she stood up for what she believed in, and she’s a big loss, now there are only 4 in the fab 5

  70. Dom, roughly how much do tickets to Tennis matches cost?

  71. depends what day, first two days are $59.90 for Rod Laver session, but it goes up each day after, its expensive

  72. Steve Healy says

    jeez thats expensive, I dont think id want to go to the tennis anyway

  73. Oh ok. I wouldn’t mind going to the Tennis one day. It’s on the to-do list, as is going to a Test Match

  74. Damian Watson says

    Doesn’t it also depend on which court the match is being played?

    llol Poor Danni she never got to meet any of her idols.

  75. …..ROGERRRRRRRRRRR!!! :)

  76. i wanna go, N

  77. next year im so going to the tennis!
    and i want to visit Switzerland..

  78. if u get close enough, will u tell him i love him!!??

  79. Steve Healy says

    what a waste of a eulogy..tsk tsk

  80. Damian Watson says

    lol sure Danni you don’t have the time to go to the footy with us yet you have plenty of time to travel around Europe.

  81. yeh, hopefully i will


  83. Steve Healy says

    danni, just come to the footy with us!


  84. Danni, it’ll be on a sunday. Who studies on a sunday!!

  85. Damian Watson says

    lol my bad.

  86. Status – starting my aussie slang article. Difficult! I really need to bring out the aussie in me for this one

  87. Steve Healy says

    hmmm I think I might start that now- I dont know what im gonna put in it

  88. Danni, if you dont come to the footy next month, Steve will leave you for someone else

  89. Danielle, u should go to the tennis

  90. hey, ive sent a Federer article to Paul, hopefully he put it on, happy now Danielle

  91. ….you know I want to but I can’t! This is going to be the worst and most stressful year of my life and I only get one chance to mess it up! I probably wont even last till that round I will have jumped off a cliff or something by then!

    really, cant wait to read it!

  92. Steve Healy says

    so, we won’t be seeing you until next year?

  93. It’s in a month tho, what’s gonna change between now and a months time? But i understand year 12 will be hard. You just better come to the Launch

  94. Damian Watson says

    I think the Launch night will be after your Year 12 exams anyway.

  95. okay, g2g guys, good night

  96. Night mate

    Richmond is facing a $1,000,000 downfall

  97. Steve Healy says

    have a good one Favs, it was nice meetin ya today

  98. well Steve u guys will hear from me…when i have spare moments to write a piece for the website and stuff, yeah hopefully should be at the launch.

    goodnight Dom

  99. Steve Healy says

    spare moments, will your whole life be almost entirely school orientated?

  100. Damian Watson says

    yeah night Dom.

    I agree with Danni she has one year to prove herself and if she works hard it’ll benefit her in years to come.

  101. Steve Healy says

    I wonder if i’ll be like that in year 12? I really dont think so

  102. 99- yeah it will be.

    thanks Damo. :)

    You migt surprize yourself steve. when u want something soo badly like i do, you wont let nothing get in the way of you getting to your goal, not even distractions.

  103. Danni, when your school life is over, you can drive out to Waaia, pick me up, and come get the guys and we all go to the footy. Deal?

  104. Damian Watson says

    Well guys I’m off, I better get cracking on the Shakespeare book, Cya.

  105. lol sure, if i can drive by then! :P


  106. Jeez its hard to keep track of what day it is when its school holidays.

  107. Steve Healy says

    well im not gonna sacrifice watching the footy

  108. Steve Healy says

    Josh if im unsure what the date is i look at the top of my comments

  109. Yeah, but i mean what day

  110. Steve Healy says

    I just try and remember and everything starts to work out

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