Crocker, Rawlings ignore big-name talk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crocker, Rawlings ignore big-name talk

By Roger Vaughan 16/07/2009 06:16:22 PM Comments (0)

Caretaker coaches Darren Crocker and Jade Rawlings are determined to ignore some of the AFL's biggest names as they stake their claims for permanent senior contracts.

In Rawlings' case, Kevin Sheedy ruled himself out of the Richmond job over the weekend.

If Crocker picked up the paper on Thursday morning, he would have seen North Melbourne have apparently given Collingwood great Nathan Buckley three weeks to decide if he is interested in their job.

There is sporadic speculation about current Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse perhaps going to the Tigers and until Mark Williams re-signs at Port Adelaide, his name also features in the rumour mill.

Current Richmond assistant Wayne Campbell has also ruled himself out of the Tigers job, but Rawlings said he did not think the withdrawals of two contenders had improved his odds.

Crocker has always said he wants a permanent senior position and on Thursday, Rawlings confirmed his interest in the Richmond assignment.

"I don't look at it as far as my chances increasing because those two (Sheedy and Campbell) are out of it, but every applicant is applying because they think they are a genuine contender to be able to get the job," Rawlings said.

"I will just be worried about myself and my presentation and where I think I can take the club - if that's good enough for the committee, well hopefully it leads (me) to be able to be in the chair for next year and beyond.

"But I don't worry about who's in or who's out."

Likewise, Crocker knows he will do his head in if he pays too much attention to the speculation about who coaches North beyond this season.

"It's not really a distraction - I spoke early on, when I got the gig, that I had aspirations to coach senior football," Crocker said of Thursday's news about Buckley.

"Unlike Jade, I've done a fairly lengthy apprenticeship ... I'm into my 10th season, I've coached my own team before.

"So the talk about who may get the job, I can't really control."

Rawlings took over from Terry Wallace in round 12 and Crocker replaced Dean Laidley in round 13.

The pair have earnt plaudits for their senior coaching debuts, with the Tigers and Kangaroos being competitive.

But they were tight-lipped about whether being the incumbent would improve their chances.

"Some people may see it that way ... time will tell," Rawlings said.

North will play Richmond on Sunday in their annual Eureka Game, a rare instance where two caretakers coach against each other.

Rawlings and Crocker agreed it did not matter that they were coaching against each other, only that their bottom-four teams kept improving.

Apart from a big loss to unbeaten St Kilda, Rawlings is so far enjoying the challenge.

"Between the second and third quarters of the St Kilda game, where we went inside 50m seven times, I had major second thoughts," he said.

"I love what I'm doing and Crock would answer in a very similar way, I'm quite fortunate that I've only been three years (as) an assistant coach and I get this very privileged position to coach a league club.

"It's a real pressure-cooker environment, there's not too many things that can prepare you for being able to coach an AFL side."

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