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The people Richmond should first call to replace Hardwick


Now that Damien Hardwick has departed, who would be his natural replacement?

The conversation always moves quickly when instances like this occur and already people’s minds will be turning to which coach will replace Hardwick at Punt Road.

SEN Breakfast’s Tim Watson and Sam Edmund have discussed who they believe should be the coaches on the radar of the Tigers who have been helmed by Hardwick since late 2009.

Watson believes former Tigers assistant and current Collingwood assistant Justin Leppitsch could be the man.

“Do you think that they’d look at somebody like Lepptisch, who was there, he’s got great cache in this business, they know what he’s like,” Watson said.

“Do you think they would look at someone like him that has been there already?”

That prompted a back and forth between he and Edmund who feels the Tigers might be better off targeting a current coach who comes out of contract this year.

Port Adelaide’s Ken Hinkley could become available provided the Power don’t look to extend him at some point this season.

“Surely their first call - and they will go through a proper process and there will be the assistants like the Josh Carrs of the world who is next in line and all these guys - but their first call has to be to Ken Hinkley,” Edmund said.

“Has to be. He doesn’t have a contract, he doesn’t have a job for next year. He is plan 1A, B and C at the moment, surely.”

Watson queried whether or not Hinkley’s lack of ultimate success would be a sticking point.

Watson: “When you’re looking at it harshly and he hasn’t been able to deliver ‘the’ silverware to this point, does that not become part of the conversation too?”

Edmund: “Only one team can win the premiership and it didn’t hurt Ross Lyon’s credentials that he wasn’t quite able to get over the hump.”

Watson: “A little bit different because Ross Lyon had multiple teams in Grand Finals.”

Edmund: “Kenny has played off in a couple of prelims.

“I think we all agree that Ken Hinkley is a good coach and is probably coaching as well as he’s ever coached at the moment.”

Watson: “They’re going well at the moment.

“If you’re saying to me that he would be the first to call, I don’t see him being the first call.”

Edmund: “No? Who’s the first call?”

Watson: “I said Leppitsch would possibly be the first call.

“He’s already occupied a space there, he’s been part of Richmond, he understands Richmond, they understand him.”

Edmund: “But as good as ‘Leppa’ is tactically, his senior coaching resume doesn’t hold up to Ken’s.”

Watson: “No, but he started at a poorer club at a time when they were going through some rebuilding as a first-up coach.

“One would have to assume that you are going to be a lot better second time around when you’ve had the experiences.

“If he wants to. Maybe he doesn’t want to.”

Edmund: “Port Adelaide were bottom of the barrel too. The change at that club in Ken Hinkley’s time has been immense.

“He would be my first call anyway given his contract situation.

“I think they will come far and wide for this job. Of course they would.”

Watson and Edmund also spoke about how attractive the Richmond job would be to potential suitors and what the club’s list will look like next year.

Edmund believes it is “absolutely a plumb job” even if the likes of Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt could be on their way out at the end of this season.

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