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Coaching and development structure

Balme explains coaching structure General Manager of Football, Neil Balme speaks about Richmond's new coaching structure.

Richmond will implement a more streamlined player development program as part of its coaching structure in 2017.

The program will be implemented by the new coaching panel put in place by General Manager - Football, Neil Balme and senior coach Damien Hardwick.

The structure will see each line coach supported by a development coach. The development coaches will also have VFL responsibilities ensuring consistency across both programs.

Beyond this, each coach will retain responsibility for a small group of players to provide more personal development support. The Club has also made some physical changes to the facility to provide an environment more conducive to teaching and learning.

Newly-appointed assistant coach, Justin Leppitsch will coach the team’s forward line, with his former Brisbane Lions premiership teammate, Craig McRae supporting him as the forward line development coach, while continuing as the VFL head coach.

Assistant coach, Blake Caracella will oversee the midfield spread and ball movement, while Andrew McQualter will be responsible for midfield stoppage and structure.

Assuming the role of VFL midfield and development coach, Xavier Clarke will work closely with both Caracella and McQualter to implement the midfield structures at VFL level. 

The backline will again be coached by former Adelaide Crow’s defender, Ben Rutten, with Ryan Ferguson continuing to support him in a development coach capacity.

“We’re really excited about the new-look coaching group, and feel like we’ve appointed some highly credentialed and experienced coaches to support Damien and the players,” General Manager - Football, Neil Balme said.

“The entire coaching group will have increased responsibilities for player development. Each coach will be responsible for the technical, tactical, physical and off-field development of a group of players.

“We think this structure achieves the balance we need between week-to-week requirements and development needs to ensure we get long-term improvement. We’ve also refreshed the learning spaces by creating more classroom-style environments for line meetings and player development.”

Richmond 2017 coaching structure:
Senior coach: Damien Hardwick
Head of Coaching and Football Performance: Tim Livingstone
Assistant coach, forwards: Justin Leppitsch
Assistant coach, midfield spread and ball movement: Blake Caracella
Assistant coach, midfield stoppage: Andrew McQualter
Assistant coach, backline: Ben Rutten
VFL and development coach (forwards): Craig McRae
Development coach and VFL midfield: Xavier Clarke
Development coach and VFL backline: Ryan Ferguson