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If every AFL team could steal one player: Richmond (zerohanger)
« on: December 01, 2022, 05:55:24 PM »
If every AFL team could steal one player: Richmond Tigers

We’ve named FOUR players the Tigers would love in their squad, and make a call on who tops their list👇

Mitch Keating
December 1, 2022

Kicking off our 'steal one player' series is Richmond for 2023, who worked through a quiet draft period after moving on their top picks to secure significantly boost their midfield.

The additions of Tim Taranto and Jacon Hopper from the Giants saw the Tigers identify and address a void in their list, but their revamped midfield ensemble, which is sure to see more minutes from Shai Bolton and Dustin Martin in 2023, isn't the only areq Damien Hardwick would've hoped to have added to this off-season.

Putting salary claps and list sizes aside, who would Richmond pinch in an ideal world where recruitment is met with little hesitation?

Here we assess the Tigers' list needs, name four players that could aid their squad and the one player who would top their list in this exercise.

List Needs

Despite returning to the top eight in 2022, Richmond's weaknesses were still on show across the course of this year's campaign, which ended in an early finals exit.

While they were able to address a number of vacant roles in their midfield with the acquisitions of Taranto and Hopper, there are several areas across Damien Hardwick's squad that the Tigers will highlight in their plans for the future.

Perhaps the area of paramount importance is their key forward depths, with triple premiership spearhead Jack Riewoldt likely entering his final season in the AFL next year.

Tom Lynch has taken on the leading role in attack, but another full-time forward to partner the ex-Suns skipper is certainly required.

Outside and more versatile midfield options may also be of interest to Richmond, with their wing duo of Marlion Pickett and Kamdyn McIntosh also needing to have successors in the coming years.

A player who can slot onto a wing, across either flank and even run through the middle to help rotate the engine room would be a welcome addition at Punt Road.

The Tigers' tall defensive group has taken a number of shapes since the start of their premiership run in 2017, with champion backman Alex Rance prematurely departing in 2019, while Robbie Tarrant joined the club from North Melbourne ahead of the 2022 season.

Top 10 pick Josh Gibcus also landed at Richmond in the 2021 off-season, but another youthful key defender might be a target for the Tigers to scout, with Tarrant, Dylan Grimes and Nathan Broad all in their 30s next year.

Another area for adjustment in Richmond's spine is their ruck options, with leading pair Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo perhaps needing heavier competition to hold the top spot.

While Nankervis should remain their No.1 tall in the middle, a player to aid his workload and rotate either forward or back would work wonders for the Tigers.

Taking all this in mind, we name four players that the Tigers might consider stealing and a verdict for their thinking...

1. Charlie Curnow

When searching through the leading key forward options in the AFL it's hard to overlook the reigning Coleman Medal winner.

While Cats superstar Jeremy Cameron would be an enticing option for the Tigers, Curnow's extra four years of youth has him ahead of the premiership forward.

Much like his stellar partnership with Harry McKay with the Blues, Curnow and Tigers tall Tom Lynch would give opposition defenders a headache through all four quarters of a match.

The balance both Curnow and Lynch would offer Damien Hardwick's side would surely have the Tigers back toward the top of the league as they feed off the club's new-look group of star midfielders.

The duo combined for 124 goals (Curnow 64, Lynch 60) in the home and away season to place first and second in the Coleman Medal standing.

2. Nick Daicos

Youth? Check. Versatility? Check. Immediate impact? Check.

After just one year in the competition, Collingwood rookie Nick Daicos stamped his authority one the league as arguably the most promising young talent in the AFL.

The flashy young Magpie averaged almost 26 possessions a game from his 15 appearances in 2022, playing a multitude of roles under Craig McRae.

Daicos flourished in a free role off half-back, while also working in the centre of the ground and showing plenty of goalkicking nous and composure in the final third.

If the Tigers want to look toward a stop-gap wing option who can also relieve the club's inside midfielders, backline and forward half, then Daicos is their man.

The teenager is bound for stardom if he isn't there already and might be the most enticing steal option for Richmond.

3. Sam Taylor

Taylor would add youth to Richmond's backline while also giving the Tigers a player who can have an immediate impact as they look to return to premiership contention.

Taylor would be Richmond's leading key defensive asset from 2023 and would combine with Josh Gobcus to make a formidable tall pairing in defence for the next decade.

The addition of Taylor would also take away from the workload currently carried by Robbie Tarrant and Nathan Broad and allow Noah Balta to position himself as a full-time forward.

With Tarrant also potentially entering his final year in the system, Taylor helps with the age demographic of Richmond's defence and would even aid the development of Gibcus, who showed more than enough this season.

Taylor claimed his maiden All-Australian blazer in 2022 for his A-grade one-on-one defending and was ranked as the second-best defender among the AFL this year.

4. Luke Jackson

Despite having just moved back west in a trade to the Dockers, the ruck-forward young gun in Jackson would be of great interest to the Tigers and could make a return to Victoria by joining the Punt Road club in this exercise.

Jackson is arguably the best versatile key-position youngster in the competition, rivalling fellow West Australian Aaron Naughton as a promising talent that can be swung across multiple positions.

While Naughton boasts the ability to move into defence if required, Jackson can pinch-hit in the ruck and would offer a great supporting role to first-string tall Toby Nankervis at Richmond.

Jackson would likely be handed the baton from Jack Riewoldt in Damien Hardwick's forward line and partner Tom Lynch in attack, extending the Tigers' terrifying twin tower forward structure threat for another several seasons.

With the acquisition of Jackson, the Tigers buoy their stocks for both their forward and ruck options, with Jackson able to move into the middle of the field, give swingman Noah Balta some time in the forward third, and then return to the forward line with Balta heading further up the field.

5. Verdict

Charlie Curnow

While the young star power of Nick Daicos, Sam Taylor and Luke Jackson are hard to turn down, the Tigers' list management focal point is with their key forward stocks.

With Riewoldt nearing retirement, Lynch already over 30 and Noah Balta still called upon in defence, Richmond will be hopeful of finding a fitting successor for the former.

Up steps Curnow, who, at 25, is among the best tall targets the AFL has to offer.

Hoping his run with injury is now history, Curnow would be among the top targets Richmond would love to steal in an exercise like this.