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Tigers' caretaker coach 'in box seat'

By Sam Lienert 03/06/2009 06:21:28 PM Comments (0)

Richmond's caretaker coach will be ideally placed to win the job on a permanent basis, according to a man who has recently taken that path to a senior role.

The Tigers are due to announce on Saturday which of their assistant coaches will take over from Terry Wallace for the rest of the AFL season.

Wayne Campbell and David King are believed to be the Tigers' assistants most likely to take over after Wallace coaches his final game against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night, with Craig McRae and Jade Rawlings also in the running.

Carlton coach Brett Ratten said those candidates with aspirations for a permanent position should leap at the chance to showcase their skills and gain experience in the interim role.

Ratten took that route himself, taking over from Denis Pagan with six rounds to go in the 2007 season and earned the permanent gig despite failing to notch a win as caretaker.

"I would say for anyone if you're in doubt take it on board," Ratten said.

"History shows there have been a lot of caretaker coaches that have gone in and actually won the job.

"I think (Sydney coach) Paul Roos is one of those that have done it and he's a premiership coach.

"If I was in any of those blokes' shoes I would recommend that they go for it."

While there have been suggestions the caretaker coach could damage their chances of winning the job for next season if they are unable to improve the Tigers' win-loss ratio, Ratten said there were a lot more pros than cons.

Most significant was that while others had to spruik their skills in interviews, the caretaker could demonstrate them.

"You get a chance to drive the bus, you could say, or drive the ship," he said.

"There's no greater experience than sitting there for six weeks, 10 weeks, whatever it is.

"I think it's a great opportunity for anyone to display their skills and I think you get to do that through meetings, game day, quarter time speeches, halftime.

"Do you have to bring your CV? You actually get to put it out there and show what you're capable of doing, which is probably the greatest thing of all time, experience.

"We talk about it with young players and older players, how do you gain experience? Through actually going out and doing it so it's a great opportunity for someone."

Meanwhile, Tigers forward Mitch Morton said the players had to take the lion's share of the blame for the results which brought about Wallace's downfall.

"We take a lot of that responsibility on, I know I do personally ... we accept all the blame and I can assure you every week, we're trying to do things to turn it around," Morton said.

He said it was a "weird" feeling preparing for Wallace's final game in charge.

"A lot of the guys, myself included, have never been in this situation before," he said.

"But this week is just one of 22 for the year and we have to prepare as if we're playing any of those games.

"We have the Bulldogs this week, who are a very good side, we've always paid them a lot of respect and it's going to be a big game."

He said the Tigers would not be any more motivated than normal because it was Wallace's farewell match.

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