Richmond CEO Brendon Gale says there was never any doubt about Neil Balme staying at Tigerland, following Monday's confirmation that Balme will continue in his role of Senior Club Advisor.

Speaking to SEN on Thursday afternoon, Gale further emphasized the value Balme brings to the Club. 

"Blair Hartly (General Manager of Football Talent) and Tim Livingstone (General Manager of Football Performance) head our football department in terms of management and leadership," Gale said.

"But Neil’s got a very, very important role and he’s stepped aside in the last couple of years to help enable their growth. His wisdom, judgement and presence is very, very important to us still.

15:35 Mins
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Gale promotes vaccinations

CEO Brendon Gale talks the Tigers stance on vaccinations as-well as Trent Cotchin's future and what the go was with chatter that Neil Balme was headed to Adelaide.

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"I think he was approached by Adelaide to be fair. He’s a terrific fella and took the call, they had a yak and things got away from there. I think that’s the only way I can put it.

"He's still contracted, but he's at Richmond because he wants to be at Richmond and his heart's at Richmond and we've still got work to do."

With a vaccination target now set for Victoria, Gale stressed the importance of getting vaccinated if you can.

"It's really important. This has been tough for the entire community and nation for coming on two years," he said.

"We'll get through it, there is a way. We need to remain hopeful, and getting vaccinated, and doing everything possible to get vaccinated, is a way out of this.

"So, we just encourage our fans and our people to take all steps possible."

While it was disappointing for the Club to miss out on this year's finals series, Gale said it would be an opportunity to reflect and regenerate. 

"The cumulative impact of successive campaigns of high-pressure football deep into the year, coupled with less preparation the following year, less teaching of fundamentals, less development of youth, I think that has an impact," he said.

"I think we got to a point this year where we were a little bit off the pace but confident we would find our way back... (so) we hung on and really gritted it out, but we just weren't good enough.

"It's frustrating to be watching finals, but this is an opportunity we haven't had in a few years to really rest.

"We're really excited about the challenge ahead."

02:04 Mins
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'The challenge is firmly set' - Hardwick

With the 2021 season over the players and coaches look forward to the next chapter in their journey.

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