Richmond has been doing its homework on how other recent AFL dynasty clubs went about replenishing their playing talent stocks, as the competition’s 2021 trade period and national/rookie drafts fast approach.
The Tigers’ national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke revealed on the AFL.com.au ‘Road to the Draft’ podcast that the Club was learning some valuable lessons from studying the list-management planning of successful rivals.
“You look at teams that have had that success and they’ve all gone about it in slightly different ways. We’ve had a really good look at that and what could suit us,” Clarke said.
“Do we go down that path, whether it’s trading or free agency or hitting the draft really quickly?
“You’ve got to balance it out with how long you can hang in that (premiership) window without wanting to just keep going with senior players all the time, and how much youth can actually help you do that.
“Obviously, Blair (Hartley) does a power of work in that space as well, and he presented a really good document and argument about where we’re at as a footy club.
“We looked at the clubs that have been great in the last 20 years – Brisbane, Geelong, Hawthorn – and each one of them has done things slightly differently.
“So, maybe if we take a little bit from each, that can help us.”
Meanwhile, although Richmond goes into this year’s national draft with its first top-10 pick since Nick Vlastuin in 2012 (No. 9 pick overall), the Club’s recruiting team will be fully focused on all the selections it has.
“While it’s exciting to have one for the Club, and a lot of focus will go on that pick, we’re also very aware that a lot of work’s got to go into the second pick and the third, the fourth and fifth,” Clarke said.
“We’ve had some good success with those mid-range selections and rookies, particularly. We had our Best and Fairest winner this year, Dylan Grimes, come out of a pre-season draft.
“So, we know there’s talent all the way through if we’ve done the work. And there’ll be a lot of work done on all our selections.”