Is Hardwick a great coach and should we extend his contract?


Yes we won the premiership so this seems a ridiculous thread to start, but Hardwick’s contract is up for renewal so it’s a legitimate question to ask imo.

And some info I’ve recently become aware of…………

Two years into Hardwick’s tenure at Richmond he wanted to move Rance on. Thank God that idea did not see fruition.

For seven years Hardwick insists players execute a game plan that they are not really suited to, there were glimpses of Hawthorn in many games, but glimpses of the lost years in other games, including the 3 finals. The culmination of this game plan was failure in 2016.

So what happens post 2016 season. Hardwick is forced to go overseas to improve his leadership, well that’s the official version, but more importantly he is forced away from the club for many weeks.

In his sabbatical, Carecella and Leppa knock up a new defensive game plan based on our lists strengths. Hardwick eventually returns to find a renewed enthusiasm amongst his players, a new game plan, and genuine hope around the club for improvement on 2016.

The rest is history, but it seems Hardwick rode the wave of genius of others at the club.

So should we have a succession plan for Hardwick, with say Caracella to take over the senior coaching role at a pre-determined time, or extend Hardwick’s contract and risk losing our assistant coaches to other clubs?


Hardwick wasn’t forced away to improve his leadership that is fanciful. He actually relaxed and became more like his normal self.

Also Caraccella and Leppitsch though good editions didn’t take over as senior coaches, they performed their roles.

I am on record saying I don’t think that Caraccella has the personality to be the main coach. It’s a management position in reality and the buck stays with you. It’s the ability to know which parts to take from the assistants and which parts to not use.

The thing is we should also be looking at successions eventually and they almost never long term are from the group within.

For me just as Cotchin will one day be replaced as Captain so will Hardwick as coach.

Right now they are both the right people for the job and yes Hardwick should be extended.


Hey Amigo, 2011 (Hardwick’s 2nd year) was Rance’s breakout year … 2011 was a strong draft, however there were no big names up for trade - though we did trade Maric in that year. So unless he was looking to move up in the draft I find it hard to believe.

Whilst Carecella and Leppitsch are terrific assistant coaches and deserve a lot of kudos neither are Head Coaches in waiting. Some people are just very very good at being second in charge … and these two are just that … actually better than very very good. Neither IMO have the makeup to be top dog.

Hardwick had the nouse to empower his staff … and as you say the rest is history. If we had to replace Hardwick right now, I am exactly where I was last year … replace him with whom?? Before the start of last season, whilst I wasn’t a Hardwick fan, there wasn’t anyone available that I would have swapped him for.

Succession plans might be a good idea for business, or for Coaches who have had enough (Roos), but I think they are folly. Malthouse and Parkin are good examples. Besides, how far out do you plan? Hardwick could very well have years of success. Coaching is a year by year proposition. Except in Soccer, where it’s week to week.

And using your logic, if we fail this year it will be down to Carecella and Leppitsch … Hardwick will back out of the wave …


Some of 2017 was evident early in Hardwicks tenure. His main problem was that the continual failure in finals made him tighten control and take away individual flair.

B Ellis is the perfect example. 2016 he lost his football instinct and was too afraid to give up possession. 2017 back to being allowed to play on instinct.

Having different input from new assistants and going away and doing some personal development also helped. Takes some guts to admit you were part of the problem and then do something about it.

Hardwick stays for mine. We have a period of success coming up and all the pieces are in place.

Go premiers!


That article about dictatorial coaches and Rance relates to Wallace. Check out when Alex was drafted and when Dimma and Leppa joined the club.


Unless Richmond have just turned into Chelsea when none of us were looking, you’d think Hardwick would have to have at least two poor years before they’d look at not keeping him on now. We’re all hoping for a new Tom Hafey kind of thing for the next few years, but not too many teams manage that. I think it is always a different challenge to get a group to keep the commitment up to go back to back, but it seems to happen more than it used to, perhaps because of the professionalism.


“Hey Amigo, 2011 (Hardwick’s 2nd year) was Rance’s breakout year … 2011 was a strong draft, however there were no big names up for trade - though we did trade Maric in that year. So unless he was looking to move up in the draft I find it hard to believe.”

I found it hard to believe too. Check out this link…


I fail to see how a bad coach could be a premiership coach in today’s ultra-professional environment. The length of the season, the demands on the players and the external pressure is too great for a team of 22-28 guys to do it “in spite of the coach”. Was he coaching poorly last year? Well, he has admitted that he was. A bad coach would’ve kept doing the same things believing the wheel would turn eventually but he sought advice, sought fresh ideas, and the with the backing of the board and the moves they made, it all came together. I called for him to be sacked but to his, and the board’s credit, they changed (and didn’t change) and what we were given was magic.

I also believe he should have his contract extended.


Still don’t believe Dimma wanted to move Rance on. Poor research in the article I read. Agree with Vossy about Blake C, most uninspiring and even more so now I’ve read Konrad Marshall’s book re how Dimma prefaced every game.


many here wanted Rance gone in his early years due to his disposal skills

and many of us were in love with Hardwick in the early years then out of love in 2015/16

football clubs are intense places at times and you will see the ugly side of most people sooner or later

somewhat out of control of the coaches and administers is player behaviours , attitude , outlook etc

in 2016 things fell apart and it looked like a poison culture

players who wear their heart on the sleeves ie ( Richo , Jack , Chaplin to some degree Rance ) get ridden by supporters for creating a poor culture but what we cant see is the sniping , the locker room and training track behaviors

Has Emma been the real force in the change of culture ? then add a healthy sprinkle of on field success and everything is wonderful

Hardwick by his own admission had to reflect and change , the new assistants knew they had to step up and help rebuild things Balme , commanded instant respect , even from those that didn’t see him play !!! and brought discipline and calm, he has that “top dog” aura Cotchin had to reflect on his game and leadership after 2016 although he and Dusty were our standouts in a sad year possibly one thing we cant measure is Cotch , who has his own style , did do hard yards when the chips were down in 2016 and that may have tweaked the respect thing in other players minds we can talk all we like but that make us respect someone and make us want to follow them respect for Trent and unity behind him seemed to grow as 2017 unfolded , did it start down that path on events from 2016 ?

Much of that Hardwick cant take credit for , but he did his co ordinating and leading role as a head coach and he didn’t squash it

as for contract extensions , steady as she goes would make me happy we talk about players losing their hunger post premiership a la footscray , if Dimma loses some of his drive we may want to move him on sooner

but for now all is good at Punt rd so best to leave alone


Yep, I’d suggest that was pre 2011… when Rance was like a new born wilderbeast …


My recollection of Rance was unbelievable courage but heart in the mouth with disposal and decision making. I remember one game at Perth when he kicked a couple playing forward and I thought he may develop into a decent tall forward as the premium placed on decision making would be minimized. But let’s face it, Leppa and Dimma and Alex himself, developed a young raw colt into a ■■■■■■■ stallion!!! *my knowledge of equine beats is limited so I might’ve mucked that up…


Well to extend the analogy, some of us would have gelded him to make him less flighty.


I think some of us thought he should be an AA backman in his first season. There was plenty to like early on, he just needed more experience and support around him. Leppitsch and Rutten were ideal mentors.


Not with father-son rules. We’re not talking poultry.


Emma is my daughter, and, to the best of my knowledge, she wasn’t responsible. However, she’s a tad secretive at times, and could have done it one day when my back was turned. I’ll check with her and get back to you.


Some reports on other sites that Benny Gale was on the news and indicated Hardwick’s contract will extended.


Hip hip Hooray :+1:


From the minute I saw Dan Jackson and Dimma hugging on the boundary line, I knew he was the coach for us. The players want to play for him - that’s it for me.


Premierships are everything.

Hardwick coached us to one and now deserves the job until he doesn’t anymore.

I’ve always thought he was a good bloke but not a great coach. I think he had a good year last year and that was down to him playing to his strengths by focusing more on being a good bloke and Marshall’s book confirms that.

My personal opinion is that Caracella and Leppitsch were largely responsible for the significant differences in our on-field approach ie ball movement and forward structure.

Hardwick, like every other player, coach, administrator and member of the club, should be going home each night and praying at a temple of Dusty, because he above all else is the reason we summited and a lot of people look much better than they are as a result.