Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams has urged All-Australian full-back Alex Rance to ditch a burgeoning media career and get his focus back on football.
In the wake of some uncharacteristic patchy form in recent weeks, Williams, who spent four years as development coach at Richmond, says the star defender would be best served by devoting himself solely to football.
“I’m saying to ‘Rancey’ just get on with being the best full-back of all time and leave the other stuff,” Williams told SEN Afternoons.
“I turned on the TV the other day and he was on Postcards and I thought to myself, ‘Alex what are you doing?’
“It’s better if we see Alex Rance as best player every week for the Tigers and that will best for him.”
After struggling in the side’s loss to St Kilda the three-time All Australian managed 13 disposals in the win over Brisbane.
Williams recalled telling James Hird to ditch a budding media career after struggling for form in the wake of his 1996 Brownlow Medal victory.
“I said to him (Hird) just play football…make that your main thing and all the other stuff in the media will come because of who you are,” Williams said.
Rance has been a regular on Postcards and The Footy Show, and while his form has been okay, he hasn’t enjoyed the consistency of previous seasons.
Williams believes a by-product of winning is the propensity for teams and players to be distracted.
“I see (Alex) Rance doing a lot of media stuff and it creeps in that you start to lose focus on where it should be,” he said.
“For clubs that haven’t made it just make footy your focus and you’ll never look back and regret it.
“There are a whole lot of nice things that happen when you do well and teams that haven’t been up there a lot can struggle to cope with that.
“As a coach you need to be driving the players and keeping them on edge.”
Richmond faces GWS on Sunday in what shapes as a top four shaping encounter.
The Tigers have lost their past two matches against the Giants, including a heartbreaking three-point defeat at Spotless Stadium in Round 9.