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Take five

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Caroline Wilson

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Preview: Richmond Tigers

Will the Tigers see finals football in 2012? Scott Spits and Jesse Hogan discuss.

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RICHMOND yesterday kick-started season 2012 with a bang, securing its star Brett Deledio until the end of 2017.

Virtually a Tiger now for his entire playing career, the dual club champion put pen to paper on the eve of the eagerly awaited Richmond-Carlton MCG opener on Thursday in a deal worth between $2.5 million and $3 million.

"I'm rapt to have signed up,'' said Deledio yesterday. ''It really was the deal I was looking for, and it pretty much makes me a Tiger for life now. It just shows the faith I have in the club and the direction we're heading under Dimma [Damien Hardwick], and I'm just really looking forward to hopefully creating something special.

Brett Deledio is expected to move into the midfield this season having held down an attacking role across the half-back line in recent years.

Brett Deledio is expected to move into the midfield this season having held down an attacking role across the half-back line in recent years. Photo: Paul Rovere

"We're starting to build a good group, and hopefully we can get the success that I think the club deserves."

Deledio is understood to have pushed, with manager Anthony McConville, for a five-year deal despite speculation earlier this year he needed to be convinced of the club's finals potential and could put off negotiations until the end of the year.

The signing comes less than a fortnight after Richmond extended coach Hardwick's contract until the end of 2014 and just days after Essendon announced it had come to terms with its young gun forward Michael Hurley for five years. Both players had been linked with Greater Western Sydney but neither had received firm offers despite coming out of contract at the end of 2012.

Richmond's football boss, Craig Cameron, last night refused to discuss financial details of Deledio's contract except to say he could have commanded significantly more on the open market.

He extolled Deledio's growing leadership traits and said: ''Brett is held in the highest regard among the playing group, is one of our strongest leaders and has a record that speaks for itself. His commitment is a clear indication of his belief in the direction the club is heading.''

Deledio, who struggled with injury over the pre-season but appeared injury-free in Richmond's last practice game against the Giants, has played 92 games in a row and in the final round of 2011 became the fastest player in the Tigers' history to reach 150 games. The club's No. 1 draft pick in 2004, he finished second in last year's Jack Dyer Medal, third the previous season and won it in 2008 and 2009.

Deledio is expected to move into the midfield this season having held down an attacking role across the half-back line in recent years.

Deledio, who turns 25 next month, has missed only four games since his debut.

Nonetheless the club is understood to have put him through physical and medical testing before putting the recommendation of a five-year contract to the Tigers' board.

9 comments so far

  • Carro may i through your article remind your co journo, Rohan Connolly of the words he spoke on 3aw some weeks back?....Rohan said he had a bad feel about Richmond, Tiges struggling to sign Deledio, bad vibes around the club, then he pumped up the pathetic Melbourne footy club. Rohan, i like ya but mate, my beloved Tigers will finish higher than both Melbourne and your rabble Essendon

    Commenter
    Manny
    Location
    willowgrove sth
    Date and time
    March 27, 2012, 9:59AM
    • Great news, good on you Brett. Go Tigers!

      Commenter
      DailyAlice
      Location
      Bendigo
      Date and time
      March 27, 2012, 10:00AM
      • As impressive as the signings of Hardwick and Deledio have been, even more so has been the controlled nature of releasing the news to the press. No leaks indicate that the influence of Gale is being felt, and a tight ship is being run.

        Commenter
        @camtherose
        Date and time
        March 27, 2012, 10:34AM
        • Seems a bit cheap to me, he would have to be worth more.

          Commenter
          Geoff
          Date and time
          March 27, 2012, 10:35AM
          • Wow. 500k a year for a midfielder who is not considered elite. He better start living up to that price tag, SEVEN years after being drafted. If you asked people which midfielder you could rely on to grab a game by the youknowwhats and win it on his own, this guy wouldnt be part of the conversation.

            Commenter
            DAH
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            March 27, 2012, 10:48AM
            • How many others are the second most experienced player at a club SEVEN years after being drafted? With his captain injured for the end of 2011 Deledio was the most experienced player in the team and he hadn't even played 150 games yet. He's had to shoulder more burden than most young players and has performed brilliantly to date. Now he finally has some support we will see how good he is

              Commenter
              Mick
              Location
              Melb
              Date and time
              March 27, 2012, 11:26AM
          • Dah from Sydney,..ya title says it all. Deledio is and always has been a star. Stick to rugby mate

            Commenter
            Manny
            Location
            willowgrove sth
            Date and time
            March 27, 2012, 11:19AM
            • poor kid

              Commenter
              Rusty
              Location
              Narre Waren
              Date and time
              March 27, 2012, 12:49PM
              • Great news, Tigers! Congratulations to Lids - he has had to sacrifice his own game for the good of the team for the past few years - now released from defensive duties, just watch him fly! Go you good thing!

                Commenter
                Western Tiger
                Location
                Perth, WA
                Date and time
                March 27, 2012, 5:45PM

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