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Keeping your talent is key

Hartley ahead of the draft Blair Hartley provides TT's legion of loyal listeners with an interesting insight into Richmond's recruitment of star key forward Tom Lynch, the departure of players to rival league clubs, the re-signing of several Tigers, and an overview of the Club's list management strategy.

This time each year, the focus of the AFL football media is firmly set on the clubs’ player acquisitions via the free agency/trade periods and drafts.

Richmond list manager Blair Hartley, however, rates player retention as an equally important component of the overall list management process.

Most notably, the Tigers were able to retain the services of superstar Dustin Martin in 2017 after he’d received a huge offer to join rival AFL club North Melbourne as a restricted free agent. Martin signed a new seven-year deal with the Club.

And then, during the 2018 season, captain Trent Cotchin, as well as brilliant ‘bookends’ Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt, both agreed to contract extensions at Tigerland.

“List management’s made up of so many different things and I think one of the most undervalued aspects in list management is retention of your own players,” Hartley said on the off-season special edition of ‘Talking Tigers’.

“You often get judged on what you’re bringing in, but I think our record on who we’ve been able to keep at the footy club over the last eight years is great, and it’s given us that opportunity to challenge . . .

“The planning around retention, along with acquiring players from other clubs, is huge. But it’s certainly undervalued, the retention aspect of it all.”