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Tigers tight-lipped on coach

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick. Photo: Getty Images

RICHMOND chief executive Brendon Gale refused to shed any further light on Damien Hardwick's future last night, insisting the club would not be reacting to outside pressure to re-sign the coach.

And Mick Malthouse put the Tigers in the spotlight, declaring Hardwick's team should play finals in 2012 and would be expected to win at least 11½ games.

Both Gale and Malthouse were speaking on 3AW but neither would entertain speculation as to whether Richmond would look at luring Malthouse out of retirement should Hardwick not remain at the club.

Responding to Alastair Clarkson's warning that stalling on Hardwick's contract could destabilise the Tigers, Gale said: ''They're good, loyal comments.

''You'd expect him [Clarkson] to make those comments. But we'll organise that and confirm that when we're good and ready.

''We certainly won't be responding to outside agendas.''

Clarkson said on Fox Footy on Monday night that Richmond should ''just make the appointment'' and re-sign Hardwick. Malthouse last night questioned the Hawthorn coach's method of publicly pushing up for his former colleague.

''I'm a coaches' person,'' said Malthouse. ''Al Clarkson is a coaches' person … He's only gone in to bat for another coach but it's the way you put it.''

When asked whether the Tigers would investigate Malthouse's availability should the Hardwick deal fail to eventuate, the former Richmond premiership player responded: ''I don't know about that … If Richmond don't look like making the eight again … I think they've gotta push for the eight.''

In terms of home-and-away wins and losses, Malthouse said a pass mark for the Tigers would be to achieve more than 11 wins in 2012.

Ponting out that Jack Riewoldt should be over his injury concerns and other developmental issues Malthouse added: ''Dustin Martin's a year older and [Trent] Cotchin's a year older.''

Richmond is currently negotiating with Hardwick's management to extend his contract although it is not certain whether the coach will receive a one or two-year extension.

Admitting he was sticking up for Hardwick who was a close friend, Clarkson said two nights ago that his own uncertain contractual situation proved a distraction for Hawthorn last season.

He said: ''They'll be crazy if they don't reappoint him and reappoint him soon.

''For the first time I feel Richmond have got some stability in their club. Just make the appointment.''

11 comments so far

  • I find it hard to believe this sort of thing is happening at Tigerland again. This club it seems will never learn.

    Commenter
    Joe P
    Location
    Melb
    Date and time
    February 29, 2012, 7:35AM
    • The Tigers would be silly to re-sign Hardwick at this stage. What if we finish in the bottom four? Should Richmond finish below last year's position, the coach should not be re-signed for obvious reasons. As long suffering supporters of this football club without success for 30 years we've had enough of 5-year coaching contracts where coaches were re-signed mid-year and then failed in the remaining years of their contracts.......see Messrs Frawley, Wallace....enough is enough.....we want results and not charity.

      Commenter
      xeno
      Date and time
      February 29, 2012, 7:59AM
      • Seriously Richmond, just get on with it and extend the contract. Dimma isn't a Frawley or a Wallace, he actually has a plan and is sticking to it.

        If we stuff this up, then God help us! (Although, I reckon he's given up on us, too).

        Commenter
        KentW
        Location
        18 Years of RFC Membership
        Date and time
        February 29, 2012, 8:30AM
        • Extending the contract now would be the biggest mistake. How often do we see that happen and the team goes on a downward spiral. Let Dimma sweat it out and prove himself this year, rather than knowing he has a job for another 2 years, complacency sets in and we end up either replacing him in his final year or paying out his contract as we did with Wallace. I hope he proves me wrong, but I certainly wouldn't be rewarding a coach right now when we haven't even come close to a finals' spot. Sounds tough but we've been through this too often (from a member of 30+ years).

          Commenter
          xeno
          Date and time
          February 29, 2012, 9:05AM
        • Yeah, fair point @xeno. And it's not like there'll be too many vacancies at season's-end anyway, considering most action happened last year.

          I guess after so many years (18 years of membership for me) of instability, it would be good to go into this season without this sort of speculation.

          But, deep down, I know you're right.

          Commenter
          KentW
          Date and time
          February 29, 2012, 12:16PM
      • Ever thought that Hardwick doesn't want to sign yet? If It was me I'd want to start talking after the clubs first finals appearance in 11 years (second in 32 years).... he could walk in there and write his own cheque

        Commenter
        Mick
        Location
        Melb
        Date and time
        February 29, 2012, 9:12AM
        • This hysteria is only driven by the media. The season hasnt started yet, the media need something to talk about. So far its only Clarkson and Malthouse responding to questions. Storm in a tea cup. Anyway, who knows if hardwick wants to keep coaching. Who knows if richmond want him to? I suggest only richmond and hardwick know the answer. Slow news week in the AFL obviously.

          Commenter
          Geoff
          Location
          Melb
          Date and time
          February 29, 2012, 9:57AM
          • Ahh, the pres-season. A time when even Richmond fans can believe their team is good enough to play finals. Traditionally, it doesn't take long (usually about a 20 minutes into round 1) for the bubble to burst.

            Commenter
            Hunt
            Location
            Geelong
            Date and time
            February 29, 2012, 10:05AM
            • Considering DH has had to clear out the list and wait for football department resources - all while taking a team that was not expected to win a game only 2 years ago to one that you'd think will be in the hunt for the 8 well into this season - you'd have to say he's done a pretty good job.

              But there's still a few holes in his game plan. I'd have no problem extending for one year right now and then doing a review mid-late season to look at beyond 2013.

              Commenter
              theescapegoat.com
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              February 29, 2012, 10:09AM
              • This is not a story. Its sensationalism, trying to ruin what the tigers have acheived thus far. You call yourself a journalist by verbatim reporting, why dont you give us the story? Has Richmond exercised NOT extend Dimma's contract, NO, is Malthouse interested in coaching richmond, NO...the story is simple, his tenure is up and it needs to go though due process.

                Commenter
                pilo1
                Location
                punt rd
                Date and time
                February 29, 2012, 10:21AM

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