Coleman Medal no concern for Hardwick - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coleman Medal no concern for Hardwick

By Adam Cooper 29/07/2010 12:29:15 PM Comments (0)

Richmond fans might beg to differ, but Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has no interest in Jack Riewoldt's chances of winning the Coleman Medal this season.

Riewoldt tops the AFL goal-kicking with 63, five clear of nearest rival Barry Hall, and has been one of the Tigers' stand-outs in a season where they sit second-last.

Riewoldt is vying to become Richmond's first Coleman medallist since Michael Roach won the second of back-to-back awards in 1981.

But Hardwick said Riewoldt's prospects served Richmond no motivation for their remaining five games, as playing for an individual award strayed from the team focus.

"I don't like a goal-kicking award to be honest," Hardwick said on Thursday.

"If I could have one get away from or club, it's a purely individual award that I'm not interested in and I'd be disappointed if that our team's interested in it at all.

"For us it's all about getting our team game in place and going that way.

"It's the furthest thing from my thoughts and the team's thoughts in general."

Hardwick was more focused on Richmond ending the season on a good note, starting with a win over Adelaide on Sunday at the MCG.

The Tigers have beaten the Crows just once this decade (13 defeats), and Hardwick said he had urged his players not to slip back into the rut they were in early this season, when they lost the first nine games.

"We think it would be disappointing if we went back into our shells and went back to how we played at the start of the year," he said.

"That's been a real driving force of ours.

"We've had our form ladder from round nine and we're even ledger at the moment (Richmond have won five of their past eight games).

"We want to keep our heads above water on that.

"It's a real character builder for them to see how they finish off the year."

Richmond should regain defenders Kelvin Moore and Will Thursfield from injury and will have midfielder Daniel Jackson available after serving the second of his two suspensions.

Hardwick said Jackson had let Richmond down through his enforced-absences for headbutting Hawthorn's Campbell Brown in round eight and engaging in rough conduct against Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne in round 15.

"We want guys to play to the line, we don't want them to step over it and that's what Daniel's done," he said.

"He's let the team down.

"He's an outstanding leader on the field for us and we were disappointed with his actions and he's cost us games.

"It's amazing how the importance of one player around a certain stoppage situation can be and he's cost us dearly for the five weeks he's been out."

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