Analysis Gary Buckenara analyses Richmond’s list after the 2020 season

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THE THIN MAN

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Gary Buckenara analyses Richmond’s list after the 2020 season

Richmond is already up there with the great Brisbane and Hawthorn teams of the modern era. And a three-peat is possible.

With three premierships in four years Richmond has created its own dynasty and this team comfortably sits alongside the great Brisbane (2001-2004) and Hawthorn (2012-2015) teams of the modern era.

Winning a three-peat is not out of the question, in fact the Tigers will be premiership contenders for at least the next three years. But as we know, talent alone doesn’t guarantee success so Trent Cotchin, Damien Hardwick and the leaders need to keep the hunger alive, which is one of the great challenges. It’s why those Brisbane and Hawthorn teams are so revered.

This Richmond group has maintained that desire to win and belief in each other and it’s why history will look back on them in the same light as those great sides.

These Tigers players have already entered the history books by winning back-to-back premierships but the opportunity is there to become one of, if not the most successful and decorated team in the club’s history.

What has been most impressive about this group hasn’t been the ability to assemble a team of superstars. It’s been the development and improvement of players who weren’t top draft picks but have become high-quality AFL players. They’re the reason for the sustained success.

While the Tigers have their A-graders like Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt, Shane Edwards and Tom Lynch, what sets the most successful teams apart from the rest is the strength of the lesser-lights and the guys who are the 15-22 ranked players in the best 22. The improvement from Liam Baker, Jayden Short, Ivan Soldo, Noah Balta, Shai Bolton and Jake Aarts (despite him only playing in the qualifying final) to not only fill roles but become very damaging players has meant there was no drop off when Cotchin, Prestia and Toby Nankervis were injured and Edwards and Bachar Houli weren’t there.

It’s a credit to the recruiting and list management teams who have executed a plan and identified players capable of filling roles in Hardwick’s game style and they’ve done it without having access to high draft picks. Richmond has not had a pick inside the top 12 since 2015. Baker (2017), Short, Soldo (both 2014) and Aarts (2018) were rookie draft picks, Balta was a pick 25 and Bolton was pick 29. Talk about nailing the draft.

Jason Castagna (rookie, 2014), Kane Lambert (rookie, 2014), Marlion Pickett (mid-season draft, 2019), Nathan Broad (pick 67, 2015) and Jack Graham (pick 53, 2016) are other examples of key players who weren’t high draft picks but have become seriously good AFL players.

As much as Hardwick is a great coach and the superstars get the fanfare, a lot of credit for Richmond’s success must go to the recruiting, list management and development staff, as well as the fitness and medical teams who have done a great job to keep the best players on the park. These have been Richmond’s secret weapons.

LIST NEEDS
Riewoldt has just turned 32 and given the success of the Riewoldt-Tom Lynch set-up, and with no real genuine developing key forwards on the list, I’d be looking to draft one or two to begin to plan for life after Riewoldt.

Overall Richmond has a very balanced group and the strength and depth of the list is evident. That means they can target specific experienced players in the trade and free agency periods and continue to stockpile young talent in the draft.

TRADE TARGETS
Richmond isn’t a major player in the trade period, with the focus on keeping this brilliant list together. They were linked early to North Melbourne’s Jared Polec, who’d be a handy get to inject more speed on the wing. If the Kangaroos pay a portion of his contract, Polec would be a potential steal as I can see him playing a valuable role. The Tigers’ quick ball movement would suit him. Unlikely to cost much in a trade.

UNTOUCHABLES
Cotchin, Martin, Edwards, Riewoldt, Lynch, Prestia, Baker, Balta, Castagna, Lambert, Pickett, Short, Bolton, Houli, Prestia, David Astbury, Mabior Chol, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Dylan Grimes, Jack Higgins, Daniel Rioli, Ivan Soldo and Nick Vlastuin.

TRADE BAIT
Jack Higgins has been linked to St Kilda and is assessing his options. He’s an extremely talented small forward who I rated as the best small forward/midfielder in his draft in 2017 and had him rated as a top-10 talent, even though he slipped to No.17. He’s an untouchable in my book. He’s obviously had health challenges that have impacted his career so far, so I wouldn’t read much into him being overtaken by the likes of Jake Aarts this year. I still see him playing a valuable role at Richmond and eventually pushing into the midfield and given he’s contracted, it would need to be a compelling trade for the Tigers to consider it. The Saints would need to offer a top-20 pick at a minimum.

Oleg Markov has already found a new home at Gold Coast as he searches for more senior opportunities, while players like Ryan Garthwaite and Jack Ross could attract interest late and be tempted by the offer of more senior games. Ross has impressed me as a big-bodied midfielder who’s handled the pressure of AFL football and a club like Carlton, desperate for this type of player, might inquire but the Tigers will do all they can to keep him.

LIST BREAKDOWN
A-grade: Martin, Lynch, Cotchin, Edwards, Astbury, Grimes, Prestia, Riewoldt

B: Baker, Castagna, Graham, Houli, Lambert, McIntosh, Nankervis, Pickett, Rioli, Short, Soldo, Vlastuin

C: Aarts, Broad, Caddy, Chol, Eggmolesse-Smith, Garthwaite

Developing (with A-B grade potential): Balta, Bolton, Collier-Dawkins, Higgins, Ross, Stack

Developing: Coleman-Jones, Cumberland, Dow, Martyn, Miller, Naish, Nyuon, Ralphsmith

What the ratings mean:

A-grade: Elite player on any AFL list

B: Top 10-18 player on most lists

C: An 18-30 player on a list

Developing: Aged 21 or under

CRYSTAL BALL
With a league-high eight A-graders, 12 B-graders and six players aged 21 or under with the potential to develop into A or B-graders, Richmond’s list is the envy of almost every club and will see the Tigers challenging strongly for more premierships over the next three years at least. This has been a wonderful era and while the players have already cashed in with three flags in four years, why stop now? Keep the hunger alive because the chance to be part of such a strong team doesn’t come along in the AFL often. The opportunity to further etch their names in Richmond folklore can drive this group to truly special things.

 

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Jan 13, 2005
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Only changes I’d make are, Astbury is a B grader, Reiwoldt probably is too now, Vlastuin is an A grader, Bolton already is too and after that finals series Nank is borderline A grader, and Broad is a B grader.

One of the few to acknowledge that our team is actually talented even with a strong system.
 

Wacky Tiger

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Only changes I’d make are, Astbury is a B grader, Reiwoldt probably is too now, Vlastuin is an A grader, Bolton already is too and after that finals series Nank is borderline A grader, and Broad is a B grader.

One of the few to acknowledge that our team is actually talented even with a strong system.
Unusual from Buckenara. Hasn't he generally potted us / not rated us in the past? Or am I thinking of someone else?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Soberian Tiger

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Gary Buckenara analyses Richmond’s list after the 2020 season

Richmond is already up there with the great Brisbane and Hawthorn teams of the modern era. And a three-peat is possible.

With three premierships in four years Richmond has created its own dynasty and this team comfortably sits alongside the great Brisbane (2001-2004) and Hawthorn (2012-2015) teams of the modern era.

Winning a three-peat is not out of the question, in fact the Tigers will be premiership contenders for at least the next three years. But as we know, talent alone doesn’t guarantee success so Trent Cotchin, Damien Hardwick and the leaders need to keep the hunger alive, which is one of the great challenges. It’s why those Brisbane and Hawthorn teams are so revered.

This Richmond group has maintained that desire to win and belief in each other and it’s why history will look back on them in the same light as those great sides.

These Tigers players have already entered the history books by winning back-to-back premierships but the opportunity is there to become one of, if not the most successful and decorated team in the club’s history.

What has been most impressive about this group hasn’t been the ability to assemble a team of superstars. It’s been the development and improvement of players who weren’t top draft picks but have become high-quality AFL players. They’re the reason for the sustained success.

While the Tigers have their A-graders like Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt, Shane Edwards and Tom Lynch, what sets the most successful teams apart from the rest is the strength of the lesser-lights and the guys who are the 15-22 ranked players in the best 22. The improvement from Liam Baker, Jayden Short, Ivan Soldo, Noah Balta, Shai Bolton and Jake Aarts (despite him only playing in the qualifying final) to not only fill roles but become very damaging players has meant there was no drop off when Cotchin, Prestia and Toby Nankervis were injured and Edwards and Bachar Houli weren’t there.

It’s a credit to the recruiting and list management teams who have executed a plan and identified players capable of filling roles in Hardwick’s game style and they’ve done it without having access to high draft picks. Richmond has not had a pick inside the top 12 since 2015. Baker (2017), Short, Soldo (both 2014) and Aarts (2018) were rookie draft picks, Balta was a pick 25 and Bolton was pick 29. Talk about nailing the draft.

Jason Castagna (rookie, 2014), Kane Lambert (rookie, 2014), Marlion Pickett (mid-season draft, 2019), Nathan Broad (pick 67, 2015) and Jack Graham (pick 53, 2016) are other examples of key players who weren’t high draft picks but have become seriously good AFL players.

As much as Hardwick is a great coach and the superstars get the fanfare, a lot of credit for Richmond’s success must go to the recruiting, list management and development staff, as well as the fitness and medical teams who have done a great job to keep the best players on the park. These have been Richmond’s secret weapons.

LIST NEEDS
Riewoldt has just turned 32 and given the success of the Riewoldt-Tom Lynch set-up, and with no real genuine developing key forwards on the list, I’d be looking to draft one or two to begin to plan for life after Riewoldt.

Overall Richmond has a very balanced group and the strength and depth of the list is evident. That means they can target specific experienced players in the trade and free agency periods and continue to stockpile young talent in the draft.

TRADE TARGETS
Richmond isn’t a major player in the trade period, with the focus on keeping this brilliant list together. They were linked early to North Melbourne’s Jared Polec, who’d be a handy get to inject more speed on the wing. If the Kangaroos pay a portion of his contract, Polec would be a potential steal as I can see him playing a valuable role. The Tigers’ quick ball movement would suit him. Unlikely to cost much in a trade.

UNTOUCHABLES
Cotchin, Martin, Edwards, Riewoldt, Lynch, Prestia, Baker, Balta, Castagna, Lambert, Pickett, Short, Bolton, Houli, Prestia, David Astbury, Mabior Chol, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Dylan Grimes, Jack Higgins, Daniel Rioli, Ivan Soldo and Nick Vlastuin.

TRADE BAIT
Jack Higgins has been linked to St Kilda and is assessing his options. He’s an extremely talented small forward who I rated as the best small forward/midfielder in his draft in 2017 and had him rated as a top-10 talent, even though he slipped to No.17. He’s an untouchable in my book. He’s obviously had health challenges that have impacted his career so far, so I wouldn’t read much into him being overtaken by the likes of Jake Aarts this year. I still see him playing a valuable role at Richmond and eventually pushing into the midfield and given he’s contracted, it would need to be a compelling trade for the Tigers to consider it. The Saints would need to offer a top-20 pick at a minimum.

Oleg Markov has already found a new home at Gold Coast as he searches for more senior opportunities, while players like Ryan Garthwaite and Jack Ross could attract interest late and be tempted by the offer of more senior games. Ross has impressed me as a big-bodied midfielder who’s handled the pressure of AFL football and a club like Carlton, desperate for this type of player, might inquire but the Tigers will do all they can to keep him.

LIST BREAKDOWN
A-grade: Martin, Lynch, Cotchin, Edwards, Astbury, Grimes, Prestia, Riewoldt

B: Baker, Castagna, Graham, Houli, Lambert, McIntosh, Nankervis, Pickett, Rioli, Short, Soldo, Vlastuin

C: Aarts, Broad, Caddy, Chol, Eggmolesse-Smith, Garthwaite

Developing (with A-B grade potential): Balta, Bolton, Collier-Dawkins, Higgins, Ross, Stack

Developing: Coleman-Jones, Cumberland, Dow, Martyn, Miller, Naish, Nyuon, Ralphsmith

What the ratings mean:

A-grade: Elite player on any AFL list

B: Top 10-18 player on most lists

C: An 18-30 player on a list

Developing: Aged 21 or under

CRYSTAL BALL
With a league-high eight A-graders, 12 B-graders and six players aged 21 or under with the potential to develop into A or B-graders, Richmond’s list is the envy of almost every club and will see the Tigers challenging strongly for more premierships over the next three years at least. This has been a wonderful era and while the players have already cashed in with three flags in four years, why stop now? Keep the hunger alive because the chance to be part of such a strong team doesn’t come along in the AFL often. The opportunity to further etch their names in Richmond folklore can drive this group to truly special things.

Fair analysis, except for Broad as a C-grader. There's no way he's not in the best 18 of other clubs.

Vlastuin also too low.

Astbury maybe too high, but at other clubs he would be regarded as an A.
 

tora tora tora

Norm Smith Medallist
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I like his opinion on Jack Higgins - I agree.
Really hope he stays....
Worth waiting the year and see if he can regain form. I've never had a head injury like that I've got no idea about recovery. Higgins doesn't lack courage but it's going to be hard to squeeze into the 22 now.
 

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Unusual from Buckenara. Hasn't he generally potted us / not rated us in the past? Or am I thinking of someone else?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
I think the same with regards to Buckenara but could be my bias that I generally don’t rate his “list ratings” after previous years efforts, but can’t remember specifically.
 

Grrr

Norm Smith Medallist
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Astbury is pretty under rated on this board it would seem. Best stopper I have seen at the club in decades, a very good mark and does little wrong. Overshadowed by Rance's brilliance, but in his career has never had more than 2 goals kicked on him that I can recall. As a key back that is A grade.
 

living_in_syd

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Astbury is pretty under rated on this board it would seem. Best stopper I have seen at the club in decades, a very good mark and does little wrong. Overshadowed by Rance's brilliance, but in his career has never had more than 2 goals kicked on him that I can recall. As a key back that is A grade.
nah maybe a year or so ago. He was lucky he could pinch hit in the ruck to get a premiership otherwise he was in the gun

unfortunately hes gonna struggle to make the side next year unless the we play a side with two kpf
 

SplintWhisky

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Feb 14, 2014
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This must be bizaro day. Someone in the media actually giving our list the correct rating?

He has done well to come out and put the correct price on Higgin's head.

thought it was pretty good until he got to the ratings.

aarts, chol, egg and garthwaite as c grade, yet bolton and balta are still developing? no team would rate bolton or balta below any of those guys.
I think what he means here is that they are not below the C grade but rather they are in the developing part of A or B grade. That is what I take out of the two developing categories. The regular developing category are players developing into C grade footballers but the others are developing into A and B grade
 

Grrr

Norm Smith Medallist
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nah maybe a year or so ago. He was lucky he could pinch hit in the ruck to get a premiership otherwise he was in the gun

unfortunately hes gonna struggle to make the side next year unless the we play a side with two kpf
Strange given he played mainly on Hawkins in the second half when Balta went into the ruck. Hawkins wasn't sighted. Turns 30 as the season starts so there is no reason to think he will fall of a cliff suddenly next year. He has never relied on his pace, nobody ever scores goals on him, which is what you want in a full back.

Who do you think it going to take the key back spots given we have none in the cupboard waiting. Miller might come on, but then that would free Balta to play second ruck, which would be pretty exciting as he is ready to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
 

living_in_syd

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Strange given he played mainly on Hawkins in the second half when Balta went into the ruck. Hawkins wasn't sighted. Turns 30 as the season starts so there is no reason to think he will fall of a cliff suddenly next year. He has never relied on his pace, nobody ever scores goals on him, which is what you want in a full back.

Who do you think it going to take the key back spots given we have none in the cupboard waiting. Miller might come on, but then that would free Balta to play second ruck, which would be pretty exciting as he is ready to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
yeah well it depends if we want balta kpd for the future, you need to have short term pain if thats the case
 

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