Richmond coach muses on job security - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richmond coach muses on job security

Roger Vaughan 18/08/2011 06:23:19 PM Comments (0)

Seconds after he mused about the downside of life as an AFL senior coach, Richmond's Damien Hardwick was reminded why he loves it so much.

Hardwick's Thursday media conference at Punt Rd had a rowdy interruption when his players and support staff burst into the room.

Jack Riewoldt was carrying a cake, complete with sparklers, for the coach's 39th birthday.

"Unbelievable" was Hardwick's stunned reaction as his team did their utmost to embarrass him.

"They're a terrific group, I have to give them credit - it's one thing they do, they're always upbeat and that's a great thing about coaching this group," he said.

"They're a terrific bunch of fellows."

Predictably, Hardwick's media conference before the humorous interruption had focussed on the chronic lack of job security that comes with being a senior coach.

The Western Bulldogs sacked Rodney Eade on Wednesday, after Neil Craig had left Adelaide and Melbourne also axed Dean Bailey in the last few weeks.

"The media does drive it a lot as well, it's probably an easy story to write with (a) coach sacking, somewhat," Eade said.

"I look at Rodney and I think he's a guy who has done this for 15 years, has missed the finals not a helluva lot, he's an outstanding coach - it's just part and parcel of the gig," Hardwick said.

"We know what we're getting into when we take the job on board - so that's what it is."

Hardwick's opposing coach on Sunday at the MCG will be Demons caretaker Todd Viney.

They were once assistant coaches under Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn.

"'Toddy, let me win', would be the first (advice)," Hardwick joked.

Viney has said he only wants the job until the end of the season, but Hardwick praised him as someone who would perfect for the role long-term.

"The funny thing (is) Melbourne could do a lot worse than have Todd Viney as their head coach," Hardwick said.

While there has been turmoil at other AFL clubs, the mood is clearly upbeat at Punt Rd after Sunday's big upset win over Sydney.

That broke a six-game losing streak.

"The guys finally had some reward for effort ... we got our intensity back in our game, which has been missing for a little while," Hardwick said.

"It does happen with the inconsistency of young sides.

"We played relatively similar to the way we played probably in our first 10 rounds, so hopefully we finish off with a wet sail."

After Melbourne, Richmond finish off the season with Adelaide and North Melbourne.

The Tigers will be favourites this weekend, but they have lost four of their last matches against the Demons.

Defensive intensity will again be a focus for Richmond, with Hardwick saying that part of their game had fallen away before Sunday's win.

"Essendon are probably an ultimate example of it - (they) went away from it and started to get that stuff back in their game and we're no different," he said.

"The guys took it up a level last week, which is great.

"That's what eventually got us over the line."

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