14/04/2024

The Tigers will look to bounce back in 2024 after their lowest ladder finish since 2016. (Image: Richmond FC)

Falling to their lowest ladder finish since 2016, will the Tigers be able to jump back into finals under new coach Adem Yze in 2024?

2023 Overview

At the beginning of the season, it was an expectation of many that Richmond would be contenders once again in 2023.

The side looked revitalised with the big-name additions of Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper, and the it seemed as if they were poised to make a challenge.

As the year went on though, this was far from the case. Damien Hardwick departed the club in May after 14 brilliant years in the job, and the Tigers struggled at times as they finished the year in 13th position.

With Andrew McQualter taking the interim coaching position in the second half of the year, it was clear on many occasions that they were simply not up to scratch, and as a result they will enter another transitional period under new coach Adem Yze in 2024.

Off-Season Changes

In: Oliver Hayes-Brown (Category B rookie), Jacob Koschitzke (Hawthorn), Liam Fawcett (Pick 43), Mykelti Lefau (SSP, Richmond VFL), Kane McAuliffe (Pick 40), Sam Naismith (delisted free agent)

Out: Kaelan Bradtke (delisted), Jason Castagna (retired), Trent Cotchin (retired), Bigoa Nyuon (North Melbourne), Jack Riewoldt (retired), Ivan Soldo (Port Adelaide), Robbie Tarrant (retired)

The big name retirements of Richmond legends Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt will certainly hurt the club. They lose two brilliant veterans who you would much rather have around at the club than not. Add to this the retirements of Jason Castagna halfway through the season, and experienced defender Robbie Tarrant, as well as the losses of Ivan Soldo and Bigoa Nyuon to other clubs, and plenty of work had to be done to replenish in the off-season.

Jacob Koschitzke comes in from the Hawks as a replacement for Riewoldt, while Sam Naismith will add plenty to their ruck stocks as someone who has plenty of experience from his days at the Swans.

Overall though, some might argue that they needed to bring in a little bit more to replace what they lost over the course of last year. Their current draft crop may take a while to settle in, and it is clear that the Tigers may be planning for a rise back up the ladder in the longer term.

Fixture

*HOME GAMES IN BOLD*

Opening Round – vs. Gold Coast, People First Stadium, Saturday March 9, 4:20pm

Round 1 – vs. Carlton, MCG, Thursday March 14, 7:30pm

Round 2 – vs. Port Adelaide, MCG, Sunday March 24, 4:00pm

Round 3 – vs. Sydney, MCG, Sunday March 31, 4:00pm

Round 4 – vs. St Kilda, Norwood Oval, Sunday April 7, 3:20pm

Round 5 – vs. West Coast, Optus Stadium, Sunday April 14, 4:00pm

Round 6 – BYE

Round 7 – vs. Melbourne, MCG, Wednesday April 24, 7:25pm

Round 8 – vs. Fremantle, MCG, Sunday May 5, 1:00pm

Round 9 – vs. Western Bulldogs, MCG, Saturday May 11, 7:30pm

Round 10 – vs. Brisbane Lions, The Gabba, Saturday May 18, 7:30pm

Round 11 – vs. Essendon, MCG, Saturday May 25, 7:40pm

Round 12 – vs. Geelong, GMHBA Stadium, Saturday June 1, 7:30pm

Round 13 – vs. Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, Thursday June 6, 7:30pm

Round 14 – vs. Hawthorn, MCG, Sunday June 15, 4:35pm

Round 15 – BYE

Round 16 – vs. Carlton, MCG, TBC

Round 17 – vs. Fremantle, Optus Stadium, TBC

Round 18 – vs. GWS, MCG, TBC

Round 19 – vs. Port Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, TBC

Round 20 – vs. Collingwood, MCG, TBC

Round 21 – vs. North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium, TBC

Round 22 – vs. St Kilda, Marvel Stadium, TBC

Round 23 – vs. Hawthorn, MCG, TBC

Round 24 – vs. Gold Coast, MCG, TBC

With the first five games of the year coming against teams that are expected to be in and around the Top 8, Richmond will be itching to get to Round 5 where they face the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium. Any wins in that first month and a bit will be more than welcome.

On the flip side, the end of the season will see them take part in a few more winnable games, with a chance to finish the year strongly. North Melbourne and Hawthorn should be around the same area of the ladder once again, while a Gold Coast game in Round 24 seems much more winnable at the MCG than their Opening Round contest in Queensland.

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Looking at 2024

As previously mentioned, it seems as if 2024 will be a year of transition for the Tigers. They have a solid group of experienced premiership players still on the list, but there are also plenty of young players who we expect will get more game time throughout the season.

Thomson Dow, Tylar Young, Josh Gibcus, Sam Banks, and Seth Campbell will all play in the Opening Round, and names like Judson Clarke, Matthew Coulthard, James Trezise, Tyler Sonsie, Jacob Bauer, and Steely Green should all see game time over the course of the year. It will be exciting to see all these youngsters develop, but it will certainly take time.

Tom Lynch is another player that has a question mark over his head. Having spent the better part of last year out with a foot injury, he will start at least the first three weeks of 2024 on the sideline as he readies himself for a return. Lynch’s influence will be crucial and they will want him back as soon as possible.

Prediction: 17th

2024 seems to be the year that marks the start of what will at least be a miniature rebuild for the Tigers. As mentioned before, they do still have some brilliant top end talent, and with those players at their disposal it is not out of the question that they could jump back up quicker than we think.

However, the gap between those elite names and the developing young talent is pretty clear, and it is hard to see how the Richmond would be able to rely on those names early in their careers, especially if injuries occur throughout the season.

The potential is there for all to see, but as they maximise the potential of their youth, the Tigers look like they will need to go down before they come back up.

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