Tigers may need cleanout: Deledio - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers may need cleanout: Deledio

By Justin Chadwick 29/08/2009 09:12:29 AM Comments (0)

Brett Deledio admits Richmond's woeful showing against West Coast is proof incoming coach Damien Hardwick needs to make sweeping changes to the AFL club.

The Tigers' season from hell ended with barely a whimper at Subiaco Oval on Friday night as the Eagles cruised to an 80-point win, 17.23 (125) to 6.9 (45).

Richmond veterans Kane Johnson and Joel Bowden retired during the season and Mark Coughlan and Nathan Brown have already been told they will be de-listed.

But Deledio said Hardwick may need to make even more ruthless cuts if Richmond are to escape their current mire.

While Ben Cousins and Matthew Richardson are expected to be offered new contracts by Hardwick, the futures of ruckman Troy Simmonds and Graham Polak are still unclear, along with a number of underperforming younger players.

The Tigers posted just five wins and a draw this season to finish in 15th place.

"We (need to) strip everything back and start afresh," Deledio said.

"Damien Hardwick has said there's going to be more pain before we see the success.

"That might mean a cleanout of the list.

"I've seen a lot of the older players, classy players, leave us and retire.

"It is a bit hard."

Tigers caretaker coach Jade Rawlings described the club's performance against West Coast as "absolutely disgraceful".

Deledio was just as gutted, saying the team let down Coughlan and Brown in their final match.

Coughlan and Brown refused to speak to the media after the match and both Rawlings and Deledio said they were unsure whether the pair would now retire or seek a new home via this year's draft.

Brown, 31, was an elite player in the AFL earlier this decade but has been a shadow of his former self since suffering an horrific broken leg in 2005.

Coughlan, 27, was Richmond's best and fairest winner in 2003 but had his career stunted by osteitis pubis, two knee reconstructions and a serious hamstring complaint that required treatment in Germany.

"I was lucky enough to live with Cogs when I first came down here and he taught me a lot of stuff about how to look after my body," Deledio said.

"He's a real hard nut and inspires you when he's out there playing.

"Nathan Brown is that cherry on top. He's that bit of class.

"That 2005 season before he broke his leg, he would have smoked home in our best and fairest and would have gone pretty well in the Brownlow as well.

"He has gone from being our class finisher to having to play a different role in the past couple of weeks because of his injuries and where he was."

Rawlings, who took over the reins from Terry Wallace after round 11, said he would speak to Hardwick next week to discuss whether there would be a role for him at the club in 2010.

"I'm actually pretty wrecked after a big year of VFL and being close to Terry (Wallace) and then what happened and then coaching," Rawlings said.

"I just need a bit of a rest and then work out what's going to be the best plan moving forward.

"Hopefully there's opportunities out there and people think I'm of some worth, but that's for others to judge."

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