Author Topic: Best 22? Why Tigers shouldn't fix what isn't broken despite stronger squad (Fox)  (Read 281 times)

Offline one-eyed

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Richmond best 22, 2018?

Why Richmond shouldn't fix what isn't broken in 2018 despite having a stronger squad


December 22, 2017 9:23am
Riley Beveridge
FOX SPORTS


IT’S hard to crack a premiership team.

Especially when that side is jam-packed full of willing footballers ready to play their role.

Richmond exemplified the theory that anything is possible when 22 footballers all buy into the coach’s game plan and execute their job on the day. It’s what made the success stories of Tigers like Jacob Townsend and Jack Graham all the more special.

But while the Richmond players who featured on that last Saturday in September in 2017 will be desperate to keep their place in the side next year, they’ll have a host of competition.

It’s what makes the Tigers such a daunting prospect yet again ahead of the 2018 campaign.

Richmond had a great run with injury last season, but still had quality in depth waiting in reserve. Just ask players like Sam Lloyd, Anthony Miles and Shai Bolton — who all impressed in the VFL, but couldn’t regain their place in the senior team come September.

The same could be said about Jayden Short, Connor Menadue and Reece Conca, who all enjoyed a handful of senior games but could never get an extended run in the side.

Add to that one of the draft’s best prospects in Jack Higgins — as well as developing talls like Noah Balta and Callum Coleman-Jones — and the Tigers have a much stronger squad.

But first, they’ll have to squeeze out players who performed so strongly in the finals.

That will be an incredibly hard task.


THE LOCK


He’s the best player in the game and Dustin Martin deserves all the plaudits he gets. Coming off a season that yielded a premiership, a Norm Smith Medal and a Brownlow Medal, footy pundits quickly ran out of plaudits for ‘Dusty’. He was the best player to ever achieve that rare three-peat, having averaged 29.8 disposals and 6.4 clearances per game, while kicking 37 goals from 25 matches. Fortunately for the Tigers, he also signed a new long-term contract extension. It’s hard to imagine how anyone will stop him in 2018.

THE BUBBLE


Last season was a tough one for Sam Lloyd. A mainstay in the Richmond team throughout 2016, he simply couldn’t crack the senior side throughout its premiership year and ultimately managed only eight games. But it wasn’t without trying. His VFL form was exemplary, while his performance in Richmond’s VFL Grand Final loss to Port Melbourne was terrific. He racked up 25 disposals, 10 clearances and had nine tackles to claim the Norm Goss Medal in a losing side. He’ll be on the fringes of Richmond’s best team in 2018, but should get his chance eventually.

THE RISING STAR


The Tigers might have got the steal of the 2017 national draft when they claimed Jack Higgins with Pick 17. The diminutive midfielder was one of last season’s best junior prospects, consistently stacking the stats box and impressing with his high footy IQ. He’s also a great pressure player, which could enable him to plug straight into Richmond’s forward line in 2018 and join its elite mosquito fleet. Expect big things from this young man.

IT’S A BIG YEAR FOR ...

After a maiden season full of promise, Richmond fans will be excited for what Shai Bolton can deliver in 2018. The speedy forward showed he had plenty of tricks throughout his six senior games last season, but couldn’t regain his place in the team after Round 19. However, his form to finish the club’s VFL campaign was superb. He’ll be looking to enjoy a more consistent run in the senior team next year and should reap the benefits.

BEST 22


B: Dylan Grimes, David Astbury, Nick Vlastuin

HB: Brandon Ellis, Alex Rance, Bachar Houli

C: Shane Edwards, Dustin Martin, Shaun Grigg

HF: Josh Caddy, Jacob Townsend, Kane Lambert

F: Dan Butler, Jack Riewoldt, Daniel Rioli

FOLL: Toby Nankervis, Trent Cotchin, Dion Prestia

I/C: Jack Graham, Kamdyn McIntosh, Jason Castagna, Shai Bolton

EMG: Jayden Short, Sam Lloyd, Jack Higgins

OTHERS: Noah Balta, Nathan Broad, Callum Coleman-Jones, Reece Conca, Nathan Drummond, Corey Ellis, Ryan Garthwaite, Ben Griffiths, Shaun Hampson, Oleg Markov, Connor Menadue, Anthony Miles, Ben Miller, Patrick Naish, Ivan Soldo

ROOKIES: Liam Baker, Mabior Chol, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith, Callum Moore, Tyson Stengle

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/best-22-why-richmond-shouldnt-fix-what-isnt-broken-in-2018-despite-having-a-stronger-squad/news-story/e5619d7fa7b3644a96e22211892f6343

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