In what ways will we improve in 2018?


If we continue our finals form into 2018, we may win another flag … or miss out if other teams improve and overtake us. Therefore, if we want to avoid disappointment, the safest strategy is to improve ourselves. But where will it come from? That’s for discussion in this thread.

Setting aside the most obvious and natural form of improvement – when each player improves his own skills, decision-making, leadership capability, etc – what specific areas are being worked on by the coaches?

Having watched the JLT games, and then having reviewed the three finals, there’s one thing I’ve noticed – well I think I have. I could be imagining it, so I raise it here to see if others have noticed it, too. During the JLT games, I gained the impression that I was seeing more sideways handballs, and that the ball was being hit harder and hence travelling faster. If that is indeed happening, this will lead to ball movement that is more rapid and less predictable, and therefore harder to counter.



The way I see it and hopefully the way it turns out is that last year our hand was forced to a certain degree to play that game plan with the mosquito fleet surrounding jack and we ran with it on the fly half way through the season due to injuries or form issues to all our other big blokes. By the end of the year they had got better and better at it. This year the whole team has had a whole pre season to improve on it rather then adapt on the run. Now it’s a proven game plan and proven talent. That has to do big things for their confidence.

I don’t think the pressure can get much better then it was during finals last year but the execution after we’ve caused the turnover can always be improved. Our skills were poor at times.

A big positive is that none of our best players are over the hill and there is a shitload of natural improvement left in a lot of the guys on our list, even a lot of the premiership side.


Brilliant point. Pressure is what we use to disrupt opposition game plans. Once the disruption occurs and we gain posession, the most effective and efficient approach is to play a few seconds of ‘keepings off’ until we score. It’s that last few seconds where the biggest improvement could come from; eg:

  • our goalkicking improves
  • we kick to advantage more often
  • we hit more targets by hand and foot


I think our improvements will come from players wanting to get out of the VFL and the incumbents not wishing to relinquish their spots. Old fashioned depth.


Our team bus ought to be named “Further”, this year.

We have a lot of catching up to do on teams like Sydney, Geelong and Hawthorn whose best teams are all respected for the uncompromising way they go about it. Having been the butt of jokes for many long years, we have proven the disbelievers wrong. The first great Richmond teams I saw, of the 70’s and early 80’s developed ruthless streaks a mile wide. They knew how good they were. This is a new era. We’re premiers again. We’ve exited the matrix. There is no spoon.

I liked the chapter in Konrad Marshall’s book about the mindfulness practice the whole club endorsed last year. The results were obviously quite good. The extension of further practice will bring its own challenges, but how well poised is the club now in contrast to those heady days of yore? As a club we are leading with integrity which I have no doubt is the source of so much pride for our supporters.

When we are putting sides away by 10 goals or more on a regular basis, we’ll become darlings of the media false idols. For so many years we halted at the idea that the lid was off. Now we have blown the lid apart. This year is about whether we are on track to becoming a great side, or not. I have no doubt but I’m a fool for the Tigers, so I had words with the oracle. “Four walls, four points, four premierships”…


Its hard to stop pressure and thats why we will be up there again this year, others will try and copy it but it doesnt work for everyone and we will have some slip ups.

As said I think our improvement will come from the bottom tier guys of our 22 lifting their pressure and games higher to stay in and the ones just outside lifting even higher to try get in and stay in. Guys like Bolton, Stengle, Markov, Menadue, Miles, Lloyd, Ellis, Short will be pushing themselves that hard to get in if any of the Broad, Butler, Castagna, Rioli, Townsend, McIntosh drop off slightly they will be replaced. Then some of the older brigade too have to keep their standards or they may slip out to if one of the youngsters improves out of sight. Then with all this competition for spots trying to get in it can only show the newbies like Higgins and Naish what level they need to be at to get in as well. As long as we keep attacking with pressure in 3’s and 4’s we will win more than we lose and teams cannot stop pressure its only us who can if we drop off slightly but going by JLT series i think we have improved slightly at it.


We all saw the improvement last year. From round 1 right through to the finals the side kept improving.

The biggest area of improvement was trust and belief in the game plan, within themselves individually and within the group. It is always the last piece of the puzzle when a champion team gets on its long roll. Prime examples Hawthorn, Geelong and Brisbane.

I recall Prestia saying, when quizzed about an important goal, he just took off to the goal square as Dusty was in the contest and would win the ball. You can only do that if your trust levels in Dusty and the bloke covering your man is high.

Make no mistake we are witnessing the birth of the next Richmond Dynasty

The close losses last year, whilst frustrating, made the side wake up that you need to bring the effort for the whole game. The lare season losses to Saints and Geelong made the side wake up that you need to bring the effort every week.

From the Geelong loss we have been invincible. Not for a minute do l think we will win every game as the individuals and/or team will lapse and allow the opposition to get on top. But this should be the key to refocus the team.

On top of this, and despite wide held opinion (outside our 4 walls) we do have depth and we do have talent coming through who will help in keeping the top 22 focused or by taking over a spot in the top 22.

This year is going to be a different experience for us whether we win the premiership or not.

And by different l mean enjoyable


Dusty and Dangerfield were a class above most players last year and they have the Brownlow votes and coaches votes to prove it

Having a player of that caliber and output was an enormous boost to us and pieces of the premiership jigsaw puzzle fell in around that as the season rolled on

we didn’t have to do it without Dusty , building the capability to win the top games without him or without great input from him is the next hurdle and that will be part of the making of a Dynasty

in the mean time enjoy every game Dusty goes around in

I’m hoping to see some more of those sublime skills slicing 60 mtr passes, hitting targets on their tit, off 2 steps, with hangers on … yes yes yes
opps sorry getting carried away :slight_smile:


When last year’s team focussed on applying greater pressure around the contest, I think we hit upon something we can get even better at this year. To explain what I mean, let’s divide a game of footy into two fundamental states: order and chaos. Highly skilled teams such as GWS and Adelaide base their game style on moving the ball great distances in an ordered and often uncontested fashion. To counter this, we had to get really good at two things: turning that order into chaos, then taking the chaos and convering it back into order … in other words, turning their order into our order via a period of chaos. Our much hyped ‘pressure’ is what disrupted the order of the other teams, placing the ball into dispute. However, the second part of the equation – turning that chaos into our order – has been spoken about less, but is equally important.

During the periods of chaos we caused, other teams didn’t have a way of dealing with it, therefore ended up panicking, almost randomly disposing of the ball if they got a hand or foot near it. That is, they met chaos with chaos. They wanted to avoid chaos, but we welcomed it. While chaos was outside their comfort zone, it was inside ours. We had developed a process for dealing with the chaos, and that process itself was, from a psychological perspective, orderly and disciplined. This meant that, when the ball was in dispute, our players’ minds, compared to those of their opponents, were calmer and less anxious, simply because they had been drilled to embrace chaos and behave in certain ways when it arose, such as:

  • getting extra numbers at the contest
  • keep tackling, harrassing and smothering
  • knocking, kicking or handballing the ball forward while another player ran forward to receive it
  • having players positioned to receive the hasty opposition kick out of a pack

Actions like these increased our chances of winning possession and turning chaos back into order.

If the chaotic periods just kept coming, one after the other, the opposition got more and more stressed, but we just lapped it up, because it was all part of the plan. For us, chaos was fun.

In 2018, watch for other teams to get better at the ‘pressure’ bit, turning order into chaos, but also watch for us to get better at the second part of the equation, turning chaos back into order. I believe it’s in this latter area where other teams will lag behind.


Good points there GB, another related factor, particularly in the finals, is the chaos we caused other teams to fall into, caused them to work harder to try and restore the order, then our superior endurance came into play and it was easier to play our orderly game against a spent opposition in the 2nd half.

I think a lot of our improvement in 2018 will come from the confidence and belief that comes from being the premiership team, especially given the emphatic manner that we won all the finals games against the best opposition.


Great points there. I think our fitness to run over teams wasn’t highlighted enough. We are not only fast but we continue to be fast all game if that makes sense.


I imagine a key off-season question for our brains trust has been, ‘What gives us the best chance of snagging an extra two or three goals a game?’ Assuming that doesn’t come from improved goal-kicking, I suggest it could come from better delivery out of defense and into attack, and two players with the potential to do that are Short and C Ellis. Not saying they tick enough boxes yet – although Short has looked impressive – but the potential for an increase in lace-out delivery is definitely there.


Well after the first game … it’s clear that Short has Bolton tendencies. … skip, side step, change of direction … give him more time …


Not on the same page as other players in the team about team first. Short and Bolton have talent but aren’t team players like most of the players around them


After two rounds, has anyone identified ways in which we are tinkering with our structures, selections, gameplan or tactics? If we assume that, during the GF, there was 0% experimentation and 100% implementation of an established method … and during the pre-season there was, say, 50% of each … then what are the relative percentages now? Did we try to do in Adelaide exactly what we did in the GF, or were some other things being trialled?


i think we were trialling lack of defensive pressure as a surprise package tactic, and perhaps reviving that wonderful technique where we guard empty patches of grass, allowing the opposition to chip-kick their way through like clockwork and score willy-nilly.


Teasing distance was too wide, and the Crows’ skills were on. Add a first half shocker to Rance, some early rounds handling errors, some role players down (small forwards), some experienced players down (Cotch and Grigg), some others not looking up to the level (Conca and C Ellis) and we were still in the hunt before an Astbury shank.


Grigg (who, to my disappointment, I didn’t find particularly pleasant) had a niggly cough yesterday at the kids’ day. Not sure if it was coming or going.

Ms Tantie, MD.


Have you changed your mind yet about Short?


@Graeme_Bowman I haven’t been a critic of Short’s skill set and yes his team first outlook has improved but isn’t as selfless as some others. Fairly understandable with him sitting just out of the team for so long. He is probably our most improved player this year but will get better again when he truly feels at home and is not thinking of being droppt