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Cotchin's message to avoid premiership hangover

Nathan Schmook, AFL Media  December 4, 2017 10:47 AM

Cotchin's excited to be back Skipper, Trent Cotchin speaks to the media as he returns for his first day of pre-season training.

RICHMOND will be "going out there to hunt" in 2018 in an effort to defend its flag and stave off any chance of a premiership hangover, captain Trent Cotchin says.

The Tigers' full list returned to pre-season training on Monday and took a moment to acknowledge their drought-breaking premiership before hitting the track in the rain at Punt Road Oval.

Cotchin said the Tigers had a unique group with improvement in it, and he knew the players would do the hard work required to avoid a slide in 2018.

"Our mentality will be that we're going out there to hunt, as it was through 2017," Cotchin said on Monday morning. 

"We created a really energetic and exciting environment from day one of pre-season last year and we're looking to do the same.

"If you look at all the outcomes, rather than what you can control, then obviously there's pressure.

"The outside will want us to crumble under that pressure, but the reality is we had a really consistent year in 2017 and we put some things in place and we continued to grow."

The Tigers' senior players on Monday joined their first-to-fourth-year teammates, who have been in training for the past week. 

Vice-captain Jack Riewoldt and Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin were spotted at Punt Road Oval during their breaks getting a jump on pre-season training.

Riewoldt remained in Tasmania on Monday, hosting a group of young Tigers and draftees on a hiking trip, while defenders Jayden Short and Oleg Markov trained together away from main group.

Grand Final hero Bachar Houli did not take part in the session.

Asked about where Richmond's improvement would come from in 2018, Cotchin said the club's young talent held the key.

"Over the next two months we'll have a really good idea of where guys are at," the captain said.

"I have no doubt there's a lot of talent that didn't quite get enough senior opportunity last year that will push for selection early days and probably hold a spot as well.

"We brought new talent in that we're looking forward to developing, and our experienced guys, while they're older, there's still a lot of youth there as well."

With coach Damien Hardwick on holiday with his family, Richmond's assistants ran Monday's session.

Hardwick visited his junior football club at the weekend with the Tigers' 2017 premiership cup, predicting a shake-up of the team's flag-winning game style next year to stay ahead of the competition.

Cotchin said there would also be a goal for Richmond to keep doing what it already does better than the competition.

"I think if you look back at some of the successful teams in the past, everyone knew what Hawthorn were trying to do going into games, but the reality is they were better than other teams at doing it," he said. 

"That's the focus for us, to improve and go again."