Richardson to return in the VFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richardson to return in the VFL

By John Salvado 30/07/2009 12:50:36 PM Comments (0)

Having been a one-man band in the Richmond attack for so many years, Matthew Richardson must now sing in tune with the new batch of Tigers' forwards.

Richardson, at 34 the AFL's oldest player, will return to action on Saturday in a rare hit-out for the club's VFL affiliates Coburg.

It will be his first game since suffering a serious hamstring injury against Sydney in early May.

Richardson is understood to be keen to play on for one more season in 2010, assuming he gets the nod from the Tigers' new head coach.

Although he spent much of his stellar 2008 season freewheeling on the wing, it is up-forward where he made his name during a celebrated 282-game career.

But in his enforced absence, the likes of Jack Riewoldt, Jayden Post, Mitch Morton and Tyrone Vickery have taken up much of the slack in the key attacking posts.

"It'll be fascinating to see how they go with Richo coming back in, seeing as he's such a dominant presence," Richmond assistant coach David King said on Thursday.

"What we've seen from Riewoldt and Post and Vickery in the last few weeks has been very exciting for us.

"He needs to complement that and not detract from that at all.

"That's the balancing act for us going forward.

"He's been able to command a wing role pretty well in the last 18 months so there are other options for him.

"He's a unique beast, you can use him anywhere.

"That's the beauty of Matthew, we can play him in a number of different roles and we will."

After being overlooked in favour of Jade Rawlings for the Richmond caretaker position earlier this year, King has told the club he won't be applying for the vacant head coaching job in 2010.

But he is expected to put his hand up to replace Dean Laidley at North Melbourne, the club where he made his name as a two-time premiership player.

King is currently third favourite with the bookmakers for the North Melbourne position behind former teammates John Longmire and Darren Crocker.

"There's plenty of good candidates out there and I'm sure both clubs will make great decisions," said King.

"I've obviously got a love of the place (North Melbourne), there's no doubt about that.

"But I just want to see them make the right decision and I don't particularly care which individual that is."

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