Analysis Premiership Roadmap: The Richmond Blueprint

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n1ck

Debutant
Oct 23, 2007
95
126
Bentleigh East
AFL Club
St Kilda
"From two Finals appearances in 30 years to two premierships in three seasons, this Tigers resurrection is complete, with their eyes now firmly on a 13th flag and establishing a bona fide AFL dynasty."

 

Dr Tigris

Premium Platinum
Aug 19, 2009
6,698
15,890
Canberra
AFL Club
Richmond
"From two Finals appearances in 30 years to two premierships in three seasons, this Tigers resurrection is complete, with their eyes now firmly on a 13th flag and establishing a bona fide AFL dynasty."

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Vassp

Club Legend
Jun 30, 2018
1,292
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Turn left, follow the highway to the underpass, take that till the next turn off where the service station is, stop there and fuel up with ultimate unleaded. Then proceed on the same road, do not turn off, take the 4th street on your left and drive until you see a yellow and black sign. Stop there and someone will come to pick you up.
 

GoTigers2015

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Oct 27, 2014
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Mitchelton-Scott

When Damien Hardwick was appointed Richmond’s head coach in August of 2009, he was walking into a club who’d won a combined 19 games over the previous three seasons and whose list was in a shambolic state.

Crucially, Hardwick wasn’t offering the Tigers a ‘get rich quick' scheme but rather a more consolidated plan, embedded with the kind of culture, hierarchy and stability he’d been familiar with as both a player (Essendon & Port Adelaide) and assistant coach (Hawthorn), and which Richmond was thoroughly devoid of at the time.

Indeed, Hardwick’s AFL life prior to his Richmond appointment had only known stability and success. Over his 207-game, multi-premiership playing career, he’d played under a grand total of two head coaches in Kevin Sheedy and Mark Williams. As an assistant, he served four years under Alastair Clarkson - enjoying further premiership success - and where the fundamentals of structure and stability were further ingrained.

The task in front of him at Richmond was monumental, with the club requiring patience while needing to shelve their penchant for firing coaches midstream.

While they struggled in the early years, there were incremental gains under Hardwick, however, it wasn’t until his fourth year at the helm that the Tigers finally qualified for September action, and not until his eighth season that Richmond won a matchup once there.

1582745761554.png



For many clubs, the notion of waiting almost a decade for a September breakthrough following a coaching appointment is not ideal, however, this Tigers administration held firm.

Doing so is a huge reason as to why Richmond has enjoyed such dizzying success in recent years.

While it’s one thing to say all the right things at your press conference with buzzwords like ‘culture’ and ‘process’ thrown around, it's something entirely different to implement the best laid plans while sticking to your process and evaluating accordingly.

TAKE THE DRAFT EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY

Few clubs have approached the draft - and extracted so much talent from within - as Richmond have done in recent years.

While struggling clubs often make the right noises about a concerted approach to peppering their playing list with talented youth, Richmond has mastered the late November sweepstakes, using the national draft as the bedrock of much of their contemporary success.


1582745811758.png


The core of Richmond’s 2017 and 2019 premiership teams has been made up of a bevvy of first and second-round draft picks over the last 15 drafts, with the likes of Trent Cotchin through to Daniel Rioli typifying the kind of selections Richmond have routinely got right so often.

Rather than a ‘blind man’s bluff’ approach to the draft, the Tigers have targeted players they believe will fit best within the specifics of their system and the context of their squad. While picking 'the best available’ makes for a nice soundbite, there’s much more to list management than just talent accumulation.

Richmond has understood this better than most, and benefited accordingly.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Sport's best practitioners - those who are capable of leaving a lasting legacy - offer their industry something different, and perhaps transform their sport in the process.

As the competition has become more equalised over the last 15 years with a deeper, more tightly bunched field of contenders each season, what has separated the best in recent times has been those with a coaching edge, and who can offer something different when the going gets tough.

Success in the AFL in recent times has very much borne that out.

While the likes of Lance Franklin, Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell and Jarryd Roughead played instrumental roles in the four premierships the Hawks claimed between 2008 and 2015, it was arguably Clarkson’s tactical prowess and revolutionary approach to the sport which consistently got the Hawks over the hump in tight spots.

From Clarkson’s famous defensive ‘cluster’ to his possession-dominant mantra, he and his coaching team were continually able to compliment a talented list with an edge in the coaching department.

Damian Hardwick’s imprint on the Tigers is not at all dissimilar, with Richmond taking a revolutionary approach to many of the game’s apparent norms - shaking up the competition in the process.

1582745861472.png



Under Hardwick, the Tigers have boldly challenged the concept of winning the ball at the coalface, continually beaten in both clearance and overall possession numbers, preferring instead a more territorial focused gameplan, which has used its defensive unit and ability to intercept as its platform.

For many, Richmond’s style under Hardwick hasn’t been easy on the eye, however, there can be no doubting his significant contribution to both re-interpreting how the game can and should be played, and most importantly, how it can be won.

USE THE TRADE PERIOD AND FREE AGENCY TO THE MAX

In recent seasons, the AFL has increasingly introduced concepts more traditionally associated with US sports.

While the AFL has had the draft and salary cap in situ for decades, free agency has been one of the most recent developments with Richmond once again proving themselves ahead of the pack where list management is concerned.

As indicated earlier, while Richmond’s draft mastery has been integral in their success, the role trading and free agency has played in recent times shouldn’t be underestimated.

Key premiership cogs such as Bachar Houli, Shaun Grigg, Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Ivan Maric all arrived at the Tigers via trades, with only Prestia and Chris Yarran (a rare miscue) costing the club a first-round pick.

Again, those additions have been specifically targeted as opposed to ad-hoc talent acquisition exercises, with Richmond usually able to distinguish a clear role for each of their players, along with creating the perfect environment to thrive in upon arrival at Punt Road.

The addition of free agency has also greatly worked to Richmond's advantage. In securing the services of Tom Lynch at the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Tigers were able to benefit from one of the biggest prime-player movements of the decade, and one who played a massive role in their most recent premiership. The Tigers didn’t have to part ways with any draft capital to secure the former Gold Coast Suns' captain, with his Punt Road arrival made possible because of the club's salary cap space in addition to the appeal of Richmond as a destination.

While many have understandably bemoaned the introduction of free agency, particularly as presently constituted in the AFL, Richmond got on with the job of exploiting its loopholes.

CONCLUSION

Richmond's turnaround this decade, from a league basket-case to the sport's very best, has been one of the greatest redemption stories in the AFL over the past thirty years. It's one amplified by how storied the Richmond Football Club is, and how ravenous its fan base has become.

Most importantly, the Tigers have left a legacy for other clubs trapped in their own cycle of gloom to borrow from.

From two Finals appearances in 30 years to two premierships in three seasons, this Tigers resurrection is complete, with their eyes now firmly on a 13th flag and establishing a bona fide AFL dynasty.
 

Meteoric Rise

Club Legend
Feb 4, 2008
1,256
3,848
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond

When Damien Hardwick was appointed Richmond’s head coach in August of 2009, he was walking into a club who’d won a combined 19 games over the previous three seasons and whose list was in a shambolic state.

Crucially, Hardwick wasn’t offering the Tigers a ‘get rich quick' scheme but rather a more consolidated plan, embedded with the kind of culture, hierarchy and stability he’d been familiar with as both a player (Essendon & Port Adelaide) and assistant coach (Hawthorn), and which Richmond was thoroughly devoid of at the time.

Indeed, Hardwick’s AFL life prior to his Richmond appointment had only known stability and success. Over his 207-game, multi-premiership playing career, he’d played under a grand total of two head coaches in Kevin Sheedy and Mark Williams. As an assistant, he served four years under Alastair Clarkson - enjoying further premiership success - and where the fundamentals of structure and stability were further ingrained.

The task in front of him at Richmond was monumental, with the club requiring patience while needing to shelve their penchant for firing coaches midstream.

While they struggled in the early years, there were incremental gains under Hardwick, however, it wasn’t until his fourth year at the helm that the Tigers finally qualified for September action, and not until his eighth season that Richmond won a matchup once there.

View attachment 829770


For many clubs, the notion of waiting almost a decade for a September breakthrough following a coaching appointment is not ideal, however, this Tigers administration held firm.

Doing so is a huge reason as to why Richmond has enjoyed such dizzying success in recent years.

While it’s one thing to say all the right things at your press conference with buzzwords like ‘culture’ and ‘process’ thrown around, it's something entirely different to implement the best laid plans while sticking to your process and evaluating accordingly.

TAKE THE DRAFT EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY

Few clubs have approached the draft - and extracted so much talent from within - as Richmond have done in recent years.

While struggling clubs often make the right noises about a concerted approach to peppering their playing list with talented youth, Richmond has mastered the late November sweepstakes, using the national draft as the bedrock of much of their contemporary success.


View attachment 829771

The core of Richmond’s 2017 and 2019 premiership teams has been made up of a bevvy of first and second-round draft picks over the last 15 drafts, with the likes of Trent Cotchin through to Daniel Rioli typifying the kind of selections Richmond have routinely got right so often.

Rather than a ‘blind man’s bluff’ approach to the draft, the Tigers have targeted players they believe will fit best within the specifics of their system and the context of their squad. While picking 'the best available’ makes for a nice soundbite, there’s much more to list management than just talent accumulation.

Richmond has understood this better than most, and benefited accordingly.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Sport's best practitioners - those who are capable of leaving a lasting legacy - offer their industry something different, and perhaps transform their sport in the process.

As the competition has become more equalised over the last 15 years with a deeper, more tightly bunched field of contenders each season, what has separated the best in recent times has been those with a coaching edge, and who can offer something different when the going gets tough.

Success in the AFL in recent times has very much borne that out.

While the likes of Lance Franklin, Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell and Jarryd Roughead played instrumental roles in the four premierships the Hawks claimed between 2008 and 2015, it was arguably Clarkson’s tactical prowess and revolutionary approach to the sport which consistently got the Hawks over the hump in tight spots.

From Clarkson’s famous defensive ‘cluster’ to his possession-dominant mantra, he and his coaching team were continually able to compliment a talented list with an edge in the coaching department.

Damian Hardwick’s imprint on the Tigers is not at all dissimilar, with Richmond taking a revolutionary approach to many of the game’s apparent norms - shaking up the competition in the process.

View attachment 829772


Under Hardwick, the Tigers have boldly challenged the concept of winning the ball at the coalface, continually beaten in both clearance and overall possession numbers, preferring instead a more territorial focused gameplan, which has used its defensive unit and ability to intercept as its platform.

For many, Richmond’s style under Hardwick hasn’t been easy on the eye, however, there can be no doubting his significant contribution to both re-interpreting how the game can and should be played, and most importantly, how it can be won.

USE THE TRADE PERIOD AND FREE AGENCY TO THE MAX

In recent seasons, the AFL has increasingly introduced concepts more traditionally associated with US sports.

While the AFL has had the draft and salary cap in situ for decades, free agency has been one of the most recent developments with Richmond once again proving themselves ahead of the pack where list management is concerned.

As indicated earlier, while Richmond’s draft mastery has been integral in their success, the role trading and free agency has played in recent times shouldn’t be underestimated.

Key premiership cogs such as Bachar Houli, Shaun Grigg, Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Ivan Maric all arrived at the Tigers via trades, with only Prestia and Chris Yarran (a rare miscue) costing the club a first-round pick.

Again, those additions have been specifically targeted as opposed to ad-hoc talent acquisition exercises, with Richmond usually able to distinguish a clear role for each of their players, along with creating the perfect environment to thrive in upon arrival at Punt Road.

The addition of free agency has also greatly worked to Richmond's advantage. In securing the services of Tom Lynch at the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Tigers were able to benefit from one of the biggest prime-player movements of the decade, and one who played a massive role in their most recent premiership. The Tigers didn’t have to part ways with any draft capital to secure the former Gold Coast Suns' captain, with his Punt Road arrival made possible because of the club's salary cap space in addition to the appeal of Richmond as a destination.

While many have understandably bemoaned the introduction of free agency, particularly as presently constituted in the AFL, Richmond got on with the job of exploiting its loopholes.

CONCLUSION

Richmond's turnaround this decade, from a league basket-case to the sport's very best, has been one of the greatest redemption stories in the AFL over the past thirty years. It's one amplified by how storied the Richmond Football Club is, and how ravenous its fan base has become.

Most importantly, the Tigers have left a legacy for other clubs trapped in their own cycle of gloom to borrow from.

From two Finals appearances in 30 years to two premierships in three seasons, this Tigers resurrection is complete, with their eyes now firmly on a 13th flag and establishing a bona fide AFL dynasty.
I didn’t think the article told us much of value at all. It identifies the following as the Tigers’ roadmap to success:

1. Pick a good coach and stick with him - the trouble is you don’t know if a coach is a good coach until he has had some sort of success and then built upon that. And it is not like the Tigers didn’t turn over coaching staff, there was a massive cleanout in 2016, not mentioned!

2. Take the draft extremely seriously. Really? The article fails to point out the one most singular feature the Richmond recruiting department. Since Francis Jackson was a sole operator 2006-2008, the club has added to the recruiting team, but not subtracted. All four full time appointees since 2006 remain at the club in recruiting full time, although the deckchairs have been shuffled a little. The club has allowed this recruiting team to get better over time rather than sacking someone every time a major draft pick went wrong, as some on here would have done.

3. Do something different. It is true that Richmond departed from what other teams were doing in some ways but Hardwick is on record as saying they also adopted things from other teams who were successful. Plenty of teams have been really good without being really radical. From my observation the biggest tactical breakthroughs came when the club revisited why certain players were recruited and then made a gameplan around their strengths. Not mentioned in the article. The thing identified as being “different” ie not focussing so heavily on winning first possession but moreso on pressure to create intercepts then ball movement from there, other clubs were doing that prior to Richmond, so that wasn’t something different at all. The differences were more the multiple pronged specialised forward pressure unit, the rushed chaos delivery forward, and the forward handball, none of which rated a mention.

4. Use trade period and free agency to the max. Not sure how exactly you take the draft extremely seriously then also do this to the max. This statement is more applicable to a club like Hawthorn in recent years, who would sell their mother for a good player from another club. They have 13 players on their list who have played at another club. Richmond has five, Houli, Nankervis, Prestia, and Caddy, and Lynch. Only four of those came in via trade or free agency, Houli was acquired through the pre-season draft. The 2017 flag was won without a free agent in the team. A better description of what Richmond has done would be use trade and free agency sparingly and only to fill obvious needs.

All in all, very poor article, failing on many counts to even state the obvious correctly.
 

JAKLAUGHING

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Nov 20, 2008
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I don't know where the author pulled this one from...that Richmond's style under Hardwick hasn't been easy on the eye...WTF?!?!
All the past GF winners Like Geelong, Hawthorn etal are easy on the eye cos they are so good and make winning look so easy...
Tigers looked magnificent winning in the last three Seasons...
 

Dr Tigris

Premium Platinum
Aug 19, 2009
6,698
15,890
Canberra
AFL Club
Richmond
I didn’t think the article told us much of value at all. It identifies the following as the Tigers’ roadmap to success:

1. Pick a good coach and stick with him - the trouble is you don’t know if a coach is a good coach until he has had some sort of success and then built upon that. And it is not like the Tigers didn’t turn over coaching staff, there was a massive cleanout in 2016, not mentioned!

2. Take the draft extremely seriously. Really? The article fails to point out the one most singular feature the Richmond recruiting department. Since Francis Jackson was a sole operator 2006-2008, the club has added to the recruiting team, but not subtracted. All four full time appointees since 2006 remain at the club in recruiting full time, although the deckchairs have been shuffled a little. The club has allowed this recruiting team to get better over time rather than sacking someone every time a major draft pick went wrong, as some on here would have done.

3. Do something different. It is true that Richmond departed from what other teams were doing in some ways but Hardwick is on record as saying they also adopted things from other teams who were successful. Plenty of teams have been really good without being really radical. From my observation the biggest tactical breakthroughs came when the club revisited why certain players were recruited and then made a gameplan around their strengths. Not mentioned in the article. The thing identified as being “different” ie not focussing so heavily on winning first possession but moreso on pressure to create intercepts then ball movement from there, other clubs were doing that prior to Richmond, so that wasn’t something different at all. The differences were more the multiple pronged specialised forward pressure unit, the rushed chaos delivery forward, and the forward handball, none of which rated a mention.

4. Use trade period and free agency to the max. Not sure how exactly you take the draft extremely seriously then also do this to the max. This statement is more applicable to a club like Hawthorn in recent years, who would sell their mother for a good player from another club. They have 13 players on their list who have played at another club. Richmond has five, Houli, Nankervis, Prestia, and Caddy, and Lynch. Only four of those came in via trade or free agency, Houli was acquired through the pre-season draft. The 2017 flag was won without a free agent in the team. A better description of what Richmond has done would be use trade and free agency sparingly and only to fill obvious needs.

All in all, very poor article, failing on many counts to even state the obvious correctly.
I've got to post my thoughts on what we do differently. Similar to you but actually quite different in one key way.

But anyway. Another key thing he didn't mention, or only tangentially. (Long paragraph follows) We've gone about recruiting the best repeat effort guys we can find. That trait hasn't been valued much by the AFL teams until us. That's left us the the highest innate ability to go again and again. Our training has emphasized that increasing our advantage there. Then we built a game plan around that difference. Yes we've maximized our players innate abilities. But that is not so much a change of philosophy about individual players, as it is a whole of everything change in how we approach winning long term. It's based on coaching beliefs of Dmma etc, understanding of he high performance team, and analysis of stats by our numbers people. The key difference there is that everything is joined up. And then our focus on culture is incredible. But our culture isn't the macho tough guy thing that many people love (Adelaide especially). It's a soft hard culture. We're all soft touchy feely, and super hard core at the same time. We're a bunch of pricks in the game. We train super hard and short cuts aren't accepted. That's different too. It's all joined up. We are managed in a joined up way as a club, Our whole footy dept is joined up with a long term vision, and the team trains and plays in a way that is totally embedded in a linked up plan. Most organisations, and footy clubs are usually like this, pretend to be joined up, but actually different people do their own stuff and hope it all meets up in the end. I know that's management speak, but that's the key thing we do differently. We have a genuine holistic vision and everything works to and within that vision. A core part of that vision is learning and change, as long as we are true to the Richmond Man/Way thing. So the individual stuff (recruitment, development, game style etc) is all part of a bigger picture. Most clubs don't have that bigger picture in a way where everyone works to it. Once your vision starts working then your competitive advantage just keeps growing because copying one bit doesn't lead to the full performance of taking it all in.
 

Meteoric Rise

Club Legend
Feb 4, 2008
1,256
3,848
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
I don't know where the author pulled this one from...that Richmond's style under Hardwick hasn't been easy on the eye...WTF?!?!
All the past GF winners Like Geelong, Hawthorn etal are easy on the eye cos they are so good and make winning look so easy...
Tigers looked magnificent winning in the last three Seasons...
That one caught my eye as well. Even my mates who hate Richmond, well, ex-mates, they all seem to make a point of saying we are good to watch. I definitely agree the team is good to watch, well organised, tough, direct, and fast. As I said, very poor article. The author just doesn’t seem to understand RFC at all.
 

Bojangles17

Hall of Famer
May 17, 2004
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When Damien Hardwick was appointed Richmond’s head coach in August of 2009, he was walking into a club who’d won a combined 19 games over the previous three seasons and whose list was in a shambolic state.

Crucially, Hardwick wasn’t offering the Tigers a ‘get rich quick' scheme but rather a more consolidated plan, embedded with the kind of culture, hierarchy and stability he’d been familiar with as both a player (Essendon & Port Adelaide) and assistant coach (Hawthorn), and which Richmond was thoroughly devoid of at the time.

Indeed, Hardwick’s AFL life prior to his Richmond appointment had only known stability and success. Over his 207-game, multi-premiership playing career, he’d played under a grand total of two head coaches in Kevin Sheedy and Mark Williams. As an assistant, he served four years under Alastair Clarkson - enjoying further premiership success - and where the fundamentals of structure and stability were further ingrained.

The task in front of him at Richmond was monumental, with the club requiring patience while needing to shelve their penchant for firing coaches midstream.

While they struggled in the early years, there were incremental gains under Hardwick, however, it wasn’t until his fourth year at the helm that the Tigers finally qualified for September action, and not until his eighth season that Richmond won a matchup once there.

View attachment 829770


For many clubs, the notion of waiting almost a decade for a September breakthrough following a coaching appointment is not ideal, however, this Tigers administration held firm.

Doing so is a huge reason as to why Richmond has enjoyed such dizzying success in recent years.

While it’s one thing to say all the right things at your press conference with buzzwords like ‘culture’ and ‘process’ thrown around, it's something entirely different to implement the best laid plans while sticking to your process and evaluating accordingly.

TAKE THE DRAFT EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY

Few clubs have approached the draft - and extracted so much talent from within - as Richmond have done in recent years.

While struggling clubs often make the right noises about a concerted approach to peppering their playing list with talented youth, Richmond has mastered the late November sweepstakes, using the national draft as the bedrock of much of their contemporary success.


View attachment 829771

The core of Richmond’s 2017 and 2019 premiership teams has been made up of a bevvy of first and second-round draft picks over the last 15 drafts, with the likes of Trent Cotchin through to Daniel Rioli typifying the kind of selections Richmond have routinely got right so often.

Rather than a ‘blind man’s bluff’ approach to the draft, the Tigers have targeted players they believe will fit best within the specifics of their system and the context of their squad. While picking 'the best available’ makes for a nice soundbite, there’s much more to list management than just talent accumulation.

Richmond has understood this better than most, and benefited accordingly.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Sport's best practitioners - those who are capable of leaving a lasting legacy - offer their industry something different, and perhaps transform their sport in the process.

As the competition has become more equalised over the last 15 years with a deeper, more tightly bunched field of contenders each season, what has separated the best in recent times has been those with a coaching edge, and who can offer something different when the going gets tough.

Success in the AFL in recent times has very much borne that out.

While the likes of Lance Franklin, Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell and Jarryd Roughead played instrumental roles in the four premierships the Hawks claimed between 2008 and 2015, it was arguably Clarkson’s tactical prowess and revolutionary approach to the sport which consistently got the Hawks over the hump in tight spots.

From Clarkson’s famous defensive ‘cluster’ to his possession-dominant mantra, he and his coaching team were continually able to compliment a talented list with an edge in the coaching department.

Damian Hardwick’s imprint on the Tigers is not at all dissimilar, with Richmond taking a revolutionary approach to many of the game’s apparent norms - shaking up the competition in the process.

View attachment 829772


Under Hardwick, the Tigers have boldly challenged the concept of winning the ball at the coalface, continually beaten in both clearance and overall possession numbers, preferring instead a more territorial focused gameplan, which has used its defensive unit and ability to intercept as its platform.

For many, Richmond’s style under Hardwick hasn’t been easy on the eye, however, there can be no doubting his significant contribution to both re-interpreting how the game can and should be played, and most importantly, how it can be won.

USE THE TRADE PERIOD AND FREE AGENCY TO THE MAX

In recent seasons, the AFL has increasingly introduced concepts more traditionally associated with US sports.

While the AFL has had the draft and salary cap in situ for decades, free agency has been one of the most recent developments with Richmond once again proving themselves ahead of the pack where list management is concerned.

As indicated earlier, while Richmond’s draft mastery has been integral in their success, the role trading and free agency has played in recent times shouldn’t be underestimated.

Key premiership cogs such as Bachar Houli, Shaun Grigg, Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Ivan Maric all arrived at the Tigers via trades, with only Prestia and Chris Yarran (a rare miscue) costing the club a first-round pick.

Again, those additions have been specifically targeted as opposed to ad-hoc talent acquisition exercises, with Richmond usually able to distinguish a clear role for each of their players, along with creating the perfect environment to thrive in upon arrival at Punt Road.

The addition of free agency has also greatly worked to Richmond's advantage. In securing the services of Tom Lynch at the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Tigers were able to benefit from one of the biggest prime-player movements of the decade, and one who played a massive role in their most recent premiership. The Tigers didn’t have to part ways with any draft capital to secure the former Gold Coast Suns' captain, with his Punt Road arrival made possible because of the club's salary cap space in addition to the appeal of Richmond as a destination.

While many have understandably bemoaned the introduction of free agency, particularly as presently constituted in the AFL, Richmond got on with the job of exploiting its loopholes.

CONCLUSION

Richmond's turnaround this decade, from a league basket-case to the sport's very best, has been one of the greatest redemption stories in the AFL over the past thirty years. It's one amplified by how storied the Richmond Football Club is, and how ravenous its fan base has become.

Most importantly, the Tigers have left a legacy for other clubs trapped in their own cycle of gloom to borrow from.

From two Finals appearances in 30 years to two premierships in three seasons, this Tigers resurrection is complete, with their eyes now firmly on a 13th flag and establishing a bona fide AFL dynasty.
And notably contesting 6 finals appearances in 7y , we weren’t parachuted to premiership mountain it was a trek that started in 2012
 

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Marcel Proust

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That one caught my eye as well. Even my mates who hate Richmond, well, ex-mates, they all seem to make a point of saying we are good to watch. I definitely agree the team is good to watch, well organised, tough, direct, and fast. As I said, very poor article. The author just doesn’t seem to understand RFC at all.
Maybe cause when in good Nick the tigers don't leak goals.

Vlastuin. Houli. Grimes. Dave etc. Rely good

Ala grand final. 2nd half prelim. Ditto first final

Battering the oppo is seen as boring. "wORsT GrAND fINAl eVa"
 

harrythetiger

Jack Graham That Is 🏆
Sep 13, 2015
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Maybe cause when in good Nick the tigers don't leak goals.

Vlastuin. Houli. Grimes. Dave etc. Rely good

Ala grand final. 2nd half prelim. Ditto first final

Battering the oppo is seen as boring. "wORsT GrAND fINAl eVa"
Our transition from defence to attack is beautiful.
Opposition has it, our mids are throwing themselves at them, the kick inside 50 is a high ball that Vlastuin picks it off easily 40m from the opposition goal. He kicks to a contest just backward of the wing that Soldo halves, before Baker swoops on the ball, handballs it forward 25m to Riewoldt who dishes it off to Prestia who is now streaming through the middle of the ground. He approaches 50 and everyone in the entire ground realises Dusty is one out in the square against their 3rd defender with no one else within 25m. Delicious.
 

Do the Dew

All Australian
Feb 14, 2019
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Richmond
I've got to post my thoughts on what we do differently. Similar to you but actually quite different in one key way.

But anyway. Another key thing he didn't mention, or only tangentially. (Long paragraph follows) We've gone about recruiting the best repeat effort guys we can find. That trait hasn't been valued much by the AFL teams until us. That's left us the the highest innate ability to go again and again. Our training has emphasized that increasing our advantage there. Then we built a game plan around that difference. Yes we've maximized our players innate abilities. But that is not so much a change of philosophy about individual players, as it is a whole of everything change in how we approach winning long term. It's based on coaching beliefs of Dmma etc, understanding of he high performance team, and analysis of stats by our numbers people. The key difference there is that everything is joined up. And then our focus on culture is incredible. But our culture isn't the macho tough guy thing that many people love (Adelaide especially). It's a soft hard culture. We're all soft touchy feely, and super hard core at the same time. We're a bunch of pricks in the game. We train super hard and short cuts aren't accepted. That's different too. It's all joined up. We are managed in a joined up way as a club, Our whole footy dept is joined up with a long term vision, and the team trains and plays in a way that is totally embedded in a linked up plan. Most organisations, and footy clubs are usually like this, pretend to be joined up, but actually different people do their own stuff and hope it all meets up in the end. I know that's management speak, but that's the key thing we do differently. We have a genuine holistic vision and everything works to and within that vision. A core part of that vision is learning and change, as long as we are true to the Richmond Man/Way thing. So the individual stuff (recruitment, development, game style etc) is all part of a bigger picture. Most clubs don't have that bigger picture in a way where everyone works to it. Once your vision starts working then your competitive advantage just keeps growing because copying one bit doesn't lead to the full performance of taking it all in.
I think this has been severely undervalued. We have a lot of really tough bastards in the team who don't back down and are willing to stand up for teammates and dish out some hurt to oppos. Very similar to the Hawks approach earlier this decade. Guys like:

Astbury
Grimes
Vlas
Baker
Cotch*
Dusty
Lynch

I've definitely missed some but one thing you see when watching us is that we aren't a soft team and that we love the contest.

*the master at putting fear into oppos
 

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