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Calls for Richmond to change captain, to ask questions of senior players and consider trading stars


Richmond must have some serious conversations with key senior players, according to Matthew Lloyd.

The Tigers find themselves in an unenviable position with a win-loss record of 1-8 in what has been a testing start to life under Adem Yze.

Nobody on the outer expected the Tigers to play finals in Yze’s first season at the helm, but there was an expectation that they would be better than this.

Injuries have smashed the Tigers in the first part of the campaign which has contributed to the conversation and brings us to this point where many people are questioning the club and its direction.

Essendon great Lloyd believes changes need to be made, starting with a new captain to replace Toby Nankervis at season’s end.

But is it Liam Baker who many believe will return to Western Australia this trade period?

“I think the time has come for a new captain with the way Toby is going with his football. He often gives away a lot of free kicks,” Lloyd said on Channel 9’s Footy Classified.

“I feel like Liam Baker is the obvious (to replace Nankervis), but you don’t give the obvious to a player who is thinking of leaving.

“After that, I couldn’t name a player (who could be captain). I think he’s the next best fit.”

Richmond’s current draft hand is Picks 2, 22, 30, 40, 41, 48, 58, 67 and 69.

However, Lloyd does not believe that is strong enough to help fast-track their rebuild after a successful period.

“That’s not good enough for how bad they are going and how long it’s going to be,” Lloyd continued.

“Tasmania comes in soon and they need to strike now. They need to get as many picks inside the top 30 as possible.

“When you win three flags I can understand how this could happen - because you don’t get good young draft picks in. But you take the three flags every day of the week to deal with what they’re dealing with.”

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He also floated Tom Lynch’s name as one who could be looked at in a potential trade.

“We look at North Melbourne and what you’ve got to be careful of is not getting rid of your senior players, you need to keep the right ones,” Lloyd added.

“I just wonder whether freeing up a million dollars for Tom Lynch, or a club would pay a fair portion of it. It might be a win-win.

“If I was Adem Yze I would be eyeballing every senior player and say, ‘Are you in for us? Or do you want out?’. You can see the ones who want to be in for the long haul, and others might go, ‘You know what, my only reason for playing now is a premiership’.

“If Tom Lynch is one that’s a bit wobbly, he might be the one to go.”

Jimmy Bartel had a word of warning for parting with a top quality key forward.

“If he is committed and his body is right, you don’t want to get down the path and say, ‘You know what we’re looking for? A key forward’. We just had one,” said the Geelong great.

Damian Barrett then asked the question of Tigers star Dustin Martin and his future at Punt Road.

“There’s a decision that has to be made on Dustin Martin too,” Barrett said.

“(Departing CEO) Brendon Gale is on record saying he wants to keep him. That may not align with the next CEO.

“Would you keep him?”

Lloyd replied, saying one of the tough conversations he is alluding to must be had with Martin.

“He’s one I’m looking in the eye and saying, ‘Dusty, how bad do you want this? Do you want to one playing in a bottom four side next year or not?, and if you aren’t willing and up for that fight we’d prefer to move you on’.”

The Tigers should be beware of cutting too thin and should use North Melbourne, and to a lesser extent Hawthorn, as cautionary tales of rebuilds which have moved slowly.

Richmond copped a 91-point loss to the Western Bulldogs last weekend. Yze and his troops now prepare themselves for battle against the Lions in Brisbane on Saturday night.


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