Tigers making a fresh AFL start: Deledio - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers making a fresh AFL start: Deledio

By Sam Lienert 10/02/2010 04:34:28 PM Comments (0)

If five seasons at finals-starved Richmond have not made Brett Deledio feel old before his time, the 22-year-old admits the current dearth of experienced players has.

With veteran stars Matthew Richardson, Nathan Brown, Joel Bowden and Kane Johnson among 12 senior players to leave the AFL club in the off-season, and the arrival of new coach Damien Hardwick, Deledio says it feels almost like a new club.

"It's definitely a different feeling, it's a fresh feeling," the dual best and fairest said.

"Everyone's excited and I notice most of the difference in meetings - it's not dominated by more experienced players, the younger players feel like they can say something and speak up.

"Everyone's excited and fresh, which is probably the best thing.

"I'm still only 22 but I feel like an old bloke down there, this is my sixth pre-season.

"I guess I try to take as much responsibility as I can with the younger guys, but in saying that I'm still pretty young myself."

The speedy midfielder said the pre-season had been markedly different under Hardwick than his predecessor Terry Wallace, Deledio's only previous AFL coach.

The Tigers will unveil a new style in Saturday night's NAB Cup match against a near-full strength Hawthorn in Launceston, one the former No.1 national draft pick says will be much more regimented.

"We've trained the same thing week in, week out, we haven't changed at all, we know what we've got to do when we get the footy," Deledio said.

"It's been repetitive all the time, we haven't deviated in our plan.

"It's a lot more structured, it's not as free-flowing, but in saying that we're still encouraged to take the game on when we need to."

Deledio says this year's pre-season has also been noticeably more low-key than a year ago, when the arrival of big-name recruit Ben Cousins helped create an atmosphere of great optimism, which was soon dashed.

He said the Tigers' top pick in the 2009 draft, midfielder Dustin Martin, is a good chance to play against the Hawks, as is Graham Polak, who worked his way back from a serious brain injury last year and is now on the club's rookie list.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news