Wallace says let history judge me - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallace says let history judge me

By Adam Cooper 01/06/2009 07:07:04 PM Comments (0)

Terry Wallace wants history to judge his tenure at Richmond despite his quitting as Tigers coach before the halfway point of the AFL season.

Wallace said on Monday he and the Richmond board had agreed that he should stand down so the Tigers could get on with preparing for life beyond 2009, and so he could seek a position at a rival club.

Despite retaining a passion for the game, Wallace is resigned to knowing that at 50 and after two separate coaching stints, that position is unlikely to be a head coaching role.

Richmond, currently in 15th spot with just two wins, will name a caretaker coach on Saturday and outline their search for a full-time replacement.

Wallace wants to stay involved at AFL level and could become the latest former coach, following the likes of Neil Balme, Neale Daniher and Chris Connolly, to take an operations position and oversee a football department.

Wallace's four-and-a-half season reign at Richmond will end with Friday night's clash against the Western Bulldogs, the club he coached from 1996-2002 with far more success.

He took the Bulldogs to preliminary finals in 1997-98, but the best he could achieve with the Tigers was ninth (twice).

His Richmond success rate of 37.75 is lower than that of predecessor Danny Frawley (39.82), who took the Tigers to the 2001 preliminary final but was much maligned at the end of his tenure.

Wallace played for Richmond in 1987 and said he returned as coach to get the club - which has reached the finals just three times since its 1980 premiership - "back on top".

He failed, but was confident his successor would inherit a playing list rich on the types missing when he took over - players aged in their early 20s capable of producing 10-year careers.

"My last tick in the box won't be determined for a few years," he said.

"You've got your own checklist as a coach and my last (item on the) checklist is `Do the players who are running around who are 21, 22 years of age, do they develop into the players that this footy club wants?'

"That will either be a tick or a cross in my box in two, three, four years time."

Wallace took a swipe at Richmond's planning before his time, as the club was a "basket case" off-field and only appointed its first full-time recruiting manager and development coach in recent years.

Despite boasting the class of Brett Deledio (the No.1 pick in the 2004 national draft) and Trent Cotchin (No.2 in 2007), Richmond's recruiting has been their Achilles in recent years and Wallace highlighted how influential it was in coaching success.

"I look at the two clubs I've coached, do I get any credit for the players who are at the Bulldogs or does (recruiter) Scotty Clayton get all the credit?" he said.

"Or should I take the pain and the punishment for decisions that were made at Tigerland?

"It is the unknown, but the bottom line is the buck stops with the senior coach and I've got no issue with that."

That said, Wallace said injuries to senior players Matthew Richardson, Nathan Brown and Ben Cousins had played a major part in their bad start to 2009, along with losing close games prior to Saturday night's three-point win over Fremantle.

Richmond's caretaker is likely to come from assistant coaches David King, Wayne Campbell, Craig McRae and Jade Rawlings, with Brian Royal considered unlikely given his close ties to Wallace.

Wallace's departure gives Richmond an early start over rivals who could be on the look-out for coaches for 2010, as the futures of Collingwood's Mick Malthouse, North Melbourne's Dean Laidley and Port Adelaide's Mark Williams remain uncertain.

Geelong's Mark Thompson, the Bulldogs' Rodney Eade and West Coast's John Worsfold - the other coaches out of contract - are considered safer bets to be at their current clubs next year.

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