Home / World News / Hard Ball Gets: Richmond great Matthew Richardson backs all 22 premiership Tigers to return next AFL season

Hard Ball Gets: Richmond great Matthew Richardson backs all 22 premiership Tigers to return next AFL season

Richmond great Matthew Richardson believes his former club’s historic run won’t slow down, expecting all 22 premiership players from Saturday to play on next season, a feat never before achieved by a previous winner.

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While success often dictates longevity in professional sport, amazingly no exact 22 from a victorious side has ever played another game together after climbing to the AFL’s peak.

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On this Monday’s episode of the Hard Ball Gets AFL Show, Richardson told The West Australian’s Chris Robinson that he’s confident the Tigers are better placed than any previous group to run it back in 2021, with the same side that dominated on the weekend.

I think they can,” Richardson said, “I just read online that Marlion Pickett has a two-year contract on the table.

“He was one that potentially was one that maybe the Dockers or the Eagles were looking at and has family connections in WA, but I think he’ll re-sign.

“I also just have a feeling that Bachar Houli will go around again, there’s no one else from that team that won’t be there next year.

“They’ll all be there and if they’re all there then they have a chance to play together again. Now that was the case after 2017 and it didn’t happen.

“I think everyone else is contracted, I think Nathan Broad is out of contract but will stay. So they’re not going to loose anyone else, they might around the fringes but not the 22. It’s a chance.”

Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin hold the Premiership Trophy aloft at Elite Gold Coast on October 25, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Camera IconDustin Martin and Trent Cotchin hold the Premiership Trophy aloft at Elite Gold Coast on October 25, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. Credit: Matt Roberts/Getty Images via AFL Photos

Richardson managed 800 goals over 282 games for the Tigers but now believes three-time Norm Smith Medallist may have surpassed club legends Kevin Bartlett and Royce Hart on top of the club’s podium, with his third cup and Norm nod in four years.

“His significance now in Richmond’s history, he’s not far off being Richmond’s best ever player,” Richardson said.

“I didn’t see much of Kevin Barlett’s career, I was only young and saw the latter end of it but he has to be up there now on the summit with Kevin Bartlett and Royce Hart.

“He’s the best big game player in the game now and certainly over the last ten years.”

For the full podcast and tomorrow’s Loose Ballers with Dyl Buckley and Xavier Ellis follow the link below!

Listen to the full podcast and subscribe for new episodes HERE

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