Matthews sees promise in Richmond's list - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matthews sees promise in Richmond's list

By Adam Cooper 21/06/2009 09:41:25 PM Comments (0)

AFL legend Leigh Matthews believes Nathan Buckley would be best served choosing Richmond over North Melbourne to start his AFL coaching career because of the potential in the Tigers' playing list.

Buckley has been linked with replacing either Terry Wallace or Dean Laidley, who both stood down from their positions in June, in the race to secure a position in 2010.

While North reached the finals in 2007-08 and have blooded a lot of young players in 2009, Matthews said Buckley could be better off accepting the Richmond job.

"For some reason I'd lean towards Richmond," said Matthews, a four-time premiership coach, and who coached Buckley at Collingwood.

"I'm not sure why because the Kangaroos have traditionally been better over the last two or three decades, but just at the moment that'd (Richmond) be my choice.

"I think Richmond's got a reasonably young list, there's reasonable growth.

"I know at the beginning of last year when Terry Wallace said the premiership window was 2011 and everyone boo-hoos that, but I think they've got a lot of growth in big chunks of that list anyway."

Matthews himself is unlikely to return to coaching, but left the door ever so slightly ajar, when asked what he would do if the Tigers or North came knocking.

"If a club rang you up and wanted to talk to you...," he said on the Seven Network.

"That's what happened with the Lions, to me.

"I wasn't coaching again and Fremantle rang up and I spoke to them and never went forward - this is 10 years ago now - but when the Lions rang up I only spoke to them out of courtesy."

Matthews worked in the media after he finished coaching Collingwood in 1995, but began coaching the Lions in 1999 and took them to their three successive premiership wins, in 2001-03.

Buckley, currently in the United States furthering his coaching education with college football giant Notre Dame, said it was up to North and Richmond to drive their search, and that nothing had changed for him.

"There's been a bit going on that I've heard from back home," he told Seven.

"But really I'm not focused on that at the moment.

"With the Richmond opportunity coming up and now North, there's been a lot of speculation around it but really that's a process that the clubs will drive.

"I'm not the only candidate, there's plenty of guys who will be looking at both roles.

"Most of this landscape won't come to bear until the end of the season, so I'm just going about the process of trying to improve myself as a football quality and finding out about where I might fit in best."

Others linked with one or both of the vacant jobs are Richmond caretaker Jade Rawlings, North caretaker Darren Crocker, Richmond assistant David King, Sydney assistant John Longmire, Hawthorn assistant Damien Hardwick and Geelong assistant Ken Hinkley.

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