It’s Tiger Time!

I’ve been drowning in the sanguine stuff re the Tigers’ tepid end to 2015. Possibly the ennui of Hawthorn fluking another non-contest drained the righteous anger. Maybe I’m just tired. Or prefer finishing 7th to 17th.

Anyway, some of us have been debating the Tigers’ top team for 2016, but there is a general sense of now or never, that we might leave our run too late like Leica Falcon in the ’05 Caulfield Cup.

I have done some analysis and it makes me believe that, indeed, Tiger time is now, next year, 2016. It’s no longer about building the list or getting games into the kids. This year, Hardwick’s 7th, it’s about the payoff, or a long and painful rebuild while contending. With a new coach. Having won nothing.

It’s not that Freo, the Swans and the Hawks will start to fade, as surely they must. Or that the Eagles may take a year to get over blowing a flag. That the Bulldogs will get found out away from Etihad.

It’s about the list. Richmond has that Geelong 2007 structure (arguably not the talent. But who has?) Going back to Deledio in 04 and then the drafts of 2006 onwards, we have a clutch of first round picks, and many, many high second rounders.

And experience, we have got a fantastic game: years ratio because we have had so few older stars we have played kids really young. I mean, Cotchin will rack up his 175th next year! I was staggered.

Add a year and 24 games to the current stats and this what you get, for the top 18:

Cotchin: 26 on GF day 2016, 177 games going in

Riewoldt, 27, 204

Martin: 25, 155

Rance: 26, 155

Vickery: 26, 126

Edwards: 27, 192

Maric: 30, 178

Miles: 24, 70

Conca: 24, 98

B Ellis: 23, 112

Grimes: 25, 87

Yarran: 25, 87

Deledio: 29, 236

Griffiths: 25, 72

Vlastuin: 22, 85

Houli: 28, 161

Grigg: 28, 161

Batchelor: 24, 99

Yes we need a proper ruck and another key back (Astbury…) and a small forward (Lennon…). But surely that’s a core age and experience structure any club would die for. Riewoldt, Martin, Rance, Vickery, Edwards, Grimes, Vlastuin and Batchelor all improved last year. If they can find a bit more, and then the mid-tier step up, you never know, it just be time for the streak around Enmore Park!

About Peter Warrington

Richmond fan; Kim Hughes tragic; geographer; kids' book author; Evertonian; Manikato; Harold Park trots 1980; father of two; cat lover, dancer with dogs; wannabe PJ HArvey backing vocalist; delusional...

Comments

  1. Window sliding closed after this season PW. Will need to make a huge impact early on and hold our nerve in the second half. But I’m with you; I reckon we can do it. Consistent scoring and midfield’s is our weakness. We’ve got to be able to play tough the way we did mid-season – Freo, Port & Swans away; Hawthorn on The Big Stage. No more lapses as per West Coast here & Crows over there, eh?

    Eat ’em alive Tigers, and spit out the bones.

  2. Dave Brown says:

    I reckon it will be the next two years for Richmond, Peter. The squad’s time in the system is still almost two years behind Hawthorn and one year behind Sydney / Freo. Where Richmond does not compare favourably to those clubs is not developing rookies into first 22 players (Kane Lambert & Nathan Gordon the only current / former rookies to see game time in 2015). There’s a question there about whether Richmond, as a result, does not give itself the greatest possible squad depth.

  3. Thanks Wrap and Dave, I agree with everything you have said. Yes the 1%ers around the rookies etc are crucial. I definitely think we lack depth, but maybe there’s a few of the previous years later picks ready to come smashing through from the VFL? Please? Hopefully Moore and Townsend put pressure on and can do a Dan Jackson thing, more skilfully?

    wrap, that maturity is hopefully there. we aren’t good enough to be able to completelly fluff our lines every 3-4 weeks. it drives me batty. everyone knew we would struggle after the freo/Hawks double, but it seemed like the players had factored that in against the Crows, and it was almost accepted by the Club and coach.

    No. We need to be ruthless, and win 16 games, if we are to win the Comp. That means beating Melbourne and the Dogs. Our draw is too hard to give away sitters to the Cats.

    it’s going to be one of the hardest comps ever with 13 teams harbouring reaslistic chances of making the 8 (Dees, Blues, Lions, Bombers and Saints the exception – I think!?). So wins are crucial and top 4 imperative. hopefully Dimma is making them feel like they blew one of the 3-4 chances to win a flag this year. Don’t make the same mistake, next…. etc etc etc

  4. amen!

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