Tigers plan recruiting raids - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers plan recruiting raids

Sam Lienert 10/02/2011 05:51:26 PM Comments (0)

Not content with staving off the approaches of the AFL's expansion clubs, Richmond is planning its own raids to poach the competition's best players.

As the Tigers launched an ambitious plan to raise $6 million in a year, to wipe out a $4.5 million debt and build a war chest, coach Damien Hardwick said part of the aim was to head-hunt the AFL's elite.

The Tigers last year signed up three of their brightest young stars Jack Riewoldt, Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin to the end of 2013, putting them out of reach of Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast.

But Hardwick said he aimed to do more than just keep his emerging list together, and intended to exploit the advent of free agency at the end of the 2012 season.

"By investing in our footy department, or the club in general we're looking to actually be really active in that market," Hardwick said.

"Not only let Greater Western Sydney exploit some loopholes and some rules, we're looking to be proactive in that market too.

"With further investment, we can pre-pay our salary cap up to 100 per cent and then create a semi-war chest that we can go out and hunt the best players.

"So that if (Carlton captain) Chris Judd ever does come on the market again, that Richmond are well and truly in the market."

While the salary cap, introduced in 1985, was meant to end the on-field divide between the competition's richest and poorest clubs, Hardwick said it was clear that money still ruled in the AFL.

"It's something the AFL's aware of, that what the footy department spend is equivalent to success at this stage and we've got to jump aboard that train," he said.

While the Tigers want success-starved supporters to donate on the basis that money can help deliver the next Richmond premiership, Hardwick said he felt no pressure to produce pre-season wins to ignite the campaign.

"That's probably what we're dead-set against, the short-term fix. That's one thing this footy club has decided, there's no more short cuts, we won't compromise on anything we do," he said.

"Our preparation for the NAB Cup is (aimed at home and away) round one."

He said Richmond's side would be stacked with new draftees and emerging youngsters for Saturday's pre-season clash with much stronger-looking Carlton and Collingwood squads.

Draftees Reece Conca, Jake Batchelor and Tom Derickx will make their debuts, but inter-club recruits Shaun Grigg, from Carlton, and Bachar Houli, from Essendon, will have to wait for the Tigers' next match.

Asked about the risk of getting thrashed, Hardwick said the result barely mattered, compared to assessing the young players and implementing new aspects of the gameplan.

"There's a lot of things we're looking to gain from it and the scoreboard's not necessarily one of them."

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