Inside 50: continued mediocrity actually a worthy objective for Richmond

Despite talk of administrative upheaval, big-name trades and the danger to their coach’s job, Richmond should appreciate the stability of the last five years

It’s anathema to the puffed-up corporate ideals of modern sport but for AFL clubs like Richmond, mere mediocrity is actually a worthy objective. For four solid years now – if they’re being honest with themselves – Richmond have been a sporadically captivating but mostly mediocre football team. Yet that qualifies as a huge improvement on near enough to three decades of administrative, financial, recruiting and coaching farces preceding the reign of Damien Hardwick, who has been beaten up a little in recent times but should be the object of some affection among Tigers fans.

In the 20 seasons prior to Hardwick’s appointment as senior coach, Richmond featured in only two finals series and otherwise finished either in the bottom five (12 times) or in their dreaded, infamous, no-man’s-land slot of ninth (six times). They won’t play finals this year but on Hardwick’s watch, they did the three seasons prior without managing a September win. After 153 games as a senior coach, Hardwick has plenty of knockers who believe this isn’t good enough, but was in March this year re-appointed to the job until the end of 2018.

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