Richmond will reveal whether veterans Jack Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin will play on in 2023, with their exit interviews to be conducted on Tuesday.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick admits the club would put “the jumper first and foremost” over the fairytale of playing on, but was confident if the duo wanted to continue that the club could accommodate them.
“Jack’s done everything in his power to play what it is … we’ve got a great understanding with where we are now but more important where we have to take the club to move forward,” he said on AFL360.
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“And the jumper and the man in the jumper is important, but the jumper is the first and foremost thing we’re thinking about when we’re making decisions. That is a business decision but there’s also a human element of what this guy means to us.
“We’ll sit down tomorrow, make a collective decision, there might be a collective argument along the way but we’re pretty sure we’ll come to a good outcome.”
Riewoldt still played 21 games this season, kicking 40 goals – including three in the elimination final loss to the Lions.
He was the player to step up for the Tigers in the final term, with two great goals in four minutes.
“It’s why he’s one of the best players in the competition and has been for a long period time.
“It’s what we love about him and the game loves about him.”
Hardwick said Cotchin, the 32-year-old former skipper, fell into the same category as Riewoldt when it came to his future.
“That’ll be a discussion tomorrow. Once again, we’re probably firmly in the camp that we’ll let those guys make a firm decision,” Hardwick said.
“There’ll be some understanding on what that looks at contract-wise and then we’ll make that informed decision tomorrow.”
Hardwick said the club was committed to improving their list before the 2023 season – as he admitted t meeting with Giant Jacob Hopper.
“What we do know is we need to improve our list – there’s some really quality players that we think can help us,” he said.
“We owe it to upon ourselves, our fans, and our players to give every player in our organisation the best chance to win a premiership – whatever we need to do, we’ll do.”
One player who will be there is Dustin Martin, Hardwick says.
“I spoke to him at a meeting today – 100 per cent he’s in our camp,” he revealed.
“It probably frustrates us a little bit the constant media speculation because it just adds a click. The reality is he’s with us for another two years – get used to it.
“I don’t have to ask the question (if he’s staying) – I just know.
“He’s so invested in this footy club. We had some meetings today and we’re talking about where our list is going and he’s all in there.
“He’s in the right mindset now.”