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The key stats Richmond should target to get back to “sustained success“


Adam Cooney has outlined how Richmond can get back to premiership glory, and believes they’re every chance for “sustained success” in the near future.

The Tigers struggled to recapture the form that made them the best team of the competition for the past four years in 2021, missing the finals for the first time since 2016.

Star defenders Bachar Houli and David Astbury also retired at the end of the season, further adding to Richmond’s troubles.

While plenty went wrong in 2021, including a kidney injury to Brownlow midfielder Dustin Martin, Cooney believes the Tigers need to target two aspects relating to their midfield in order to bouce back next season.

“I think the two main areas they need to improve next year are their clearance work. They finished 18th for average clearances, the Western Bulldogs finished number one,“ he told AFL Trade Radio’s Trade Afternoons.

“Also, contested possession, they finished 17th and the Demons finished number one.

“They certainly need to improve that area of the ground if they are to be competitive next year.

“They were a really high inside 50 team in the past and they didn’t really rely on clearances or contested possession, but I think once that went out of their game this year they really struggled to get those entries.”

</p He’s also got the perfect player who the Tigers can pick up to fix those areas. “If it is a player like Luke Dunstan comes in, a bigger body to try and get that clearance work and contested possession rate up, I think that’s their best chance of getting back to the promised land next year,” Cooney said. Another piece of the puzzle is the National Draft, where Richmond has a strong hand.
They’ve got seven picks, all in the first 50, and Cooney says some shrewd drafting will form a key part of Richmond’s potential rise up the ladder. “Picks 7, 15, 26, 28, 38, 42, and 47, they’ve got an enormous draft haul this year, a great hand,” he said. “If they can get improvement out of some (experienced) guys, Martin gets back to his best and they pick up a couple of kids (they will be looking good). “With this draft haul, they’re looking at some strong sustained success, even for the next five or six years, but it remains to be seen whether they can hold on and go again.” Tall forward Mabior Chol has left Tigerland and teammate Callum Coleman-Jones appears likely to follow suit, however, Damien Hardwick’s team will be bolstered by the recruitment of Roo Robbie Tarrant.


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