New AFL season for Tigers, Rawlings says - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New AFL season for Tigers, Rawlings says

By Roger Vaughan 06/06/2009 06:05:06 PM Comments (0)

A new AFL season has started at Richmond with the appointment of Jade Rawlings as caretaker coach.

The former Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne key position player will be in charge of the Tigers for the last half of the year.

Terry Wallace ended his unsuccessful tenure at Punt Rd on Friday night with a 68-point loss to the Western Bulldogs and Rawlings came through this week's selection process to replace him.

Rawlings was one of four Richmond assistant coaches to apply, along with Wayne Campbell, David King and Craig McRae.

Brian Royal was the only deputy not to put up his hand.

"The one thing we want to get out of this is that one season has gone and a new one is starting," Rawlings said after Saturday's announcement.

"We really want to give it some life in the second half of the year.

"We will get a style that we think is sustainable for the future, whether that's finals footy this year might be a bit hard.

"But we'll play a sustainable brand that's going to stack up for finals, for whoever takes over."

Rawlings would not be drawn on whether he would apply for the job beyond this season.

The Tigers board will meet on Tuesday and ratify the selection process for the permanent senior coach.

President Gary March has said the club want the best possible candidate - experienced or new.

March added on Saturday that Rawlings' successful application did not reflect badly on the other assistants' chances.

"As I said last night, we haven't discounted anyone from coaching Richmond in 2010," March told Triple M radio.

"I don't think this discounts any of those (assistants) from coaching Richmond in 2010 or coaching elsewhere in 2010 ... they're all prospective senior coaches."

March also said Rawlings' brief from the club was simple - win.

"I can tell you one thing, that we said to the players today and what we said to the prospective coaches - we're still about winning games," he said.

"We think we're better than we've been and we've got to get back to winning football.

"The one thing I can tell Richmond supporters is we'll be trying to win games in the second half of the year and finish off the year like we did last year.

"He (Rawlings) will make the decisions based on form, structure and how he sees it - we're going to give him the opportunity to coach the side properly."

Rawlings will coach VFL affiliates Coburg for the last time in Ballarat on Sunday before taking over Richmond.

March said Rawlings won the job because he had experience of coaching a side, plus it meant less disruption to the current assistant setup.

Rawlings was confident he had the full support of his coaching colleagues at Punt Road.

"I've spoken to all of them and they've been sensational - I'm big on reading body language and their reaction to me ... has been terrific," Rawlings said.

"I know them intimately well and they've helped shape me as a coach."

Rawlings played 148 AFL games as a key defender and forward from 1996 to 2006 before knee injuries forced him to retire.

He has been an assistant at Richmond since 2007 and thanked Wallace for the opportunity, describing him as a friend.

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