#8 – Richmond Tigers
When my father arrived from Holland in 1955 with his first wife and their children, one of his daughter’s played for their school’s baseball team, which had yellow and black uniforms. Soon after, dad went to his first football match, at Glenelg, which was also yellow and black, and this became his team. Many years later in the 70’s he moved to Victoria, and started following the VFL, and looked for the team which was yellow and black, and found Richmond. When he later married again and had me, I followed suit.
I have almost no positive memories associated with Richmond. Except perhaps marking the ball 10 rows back behind the goals at a Richmond v Essendon 1996 match, whilst holding a mini-pizza.
What should audiences expect from the Tigers in 2015? Richo will have another magnificent year on the microphone. What he lacks in intellect he makes up for in chiseled jaws and vacant stares. Dustin Martin will continue to inspire a generation of young people to get educations and rally for prominent social change in order to avoid becoming Dustin Martin. Damien Hardwick’s joy will continue to slowly shatter. Trent Cotchin will move from the ‘Brett Deledio’ (confused and sad over lack of success) to ‘Jack Riewoldt’ (bench hissy fits and tantrums). Chris Newman will make football watchers across Australia say again, “who?”
My personal all-time favourite player is Dermott Brereton. I once met him at a footy clinic in Traralgon in 1986. He arrived in a Ferrari, and signed my Knight Rider-themed autograph book. The fact that my favourite player did not play for my favourite team tells you everything you need to know about Richmond.
Most interesting off-field player
Now that Ben Cousins is gone, I’ll have to go with Bachar Houli, only the second devout Muslim to play at this level and is doing some good multicultural promotional gear with the AFL.
Most hatable player
Hmm, probably Dustin Martin for his hair (Ed: or tattoos, or personality, or…), or Jack Riewoldt for obvious reasons. In fact, any time I use the phrase, ‘for obvious reasons,’ it’s hard to deny the fact. Plus the Riewoldt brothers have always had gloriously punchable faces.
Kamdyn McIntosh – based on his BOG performance against Carlton. Glimpses of glory.
A tie between Trent Cotchin, or Brett Deledio off half-back. And it’s been a while since I could genuinely tie two competent Richmond players. Back to the halcyon days of Wayne Campbell and Matthew Knights, when we would regularly finish…ninth.
Nathan Foley has probably done his dash, and Chris Newman is in his final season.
I hope Dale Weightman isn’t still a runner. #letitgoflea
What to expect when you’re expecting a premiership
As always, we should expect Richmond to finish ninth.
I, being a mug fan, shall again hold out hope of them making the finals, something they have done only thrice in my living memory. However, there are some encouraging signs about the current Tigers worth noting. A successful team needs a few elite players, and Richmond’s failing for the past 30 years or so has been patchy to poor recruitment. However at present we boast the calibre of Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio, Dustin Martin, and a Coleman-capacity Jack Riewoldt.
We also have some very promising youngsters in Nick Vlastuin and Ben Lennon; and Kamdyn McIntosh had a blistering breakout game against Carlton on Thursday night.
Lastly, we have a tough, steady coach in Damien Hardwick. The team has not been trained in hard, running play for years. I’d love to see us win at least one final, and top the league in tackles. But to win a premiership, we’ll have to rely on fumes of the memories of the 35th anniversary of our last flag, and our hard running will surprise everyone, including me, Hardwick, Richo and Dale Weightman.