ON THE MATTER of Damien Hardwick’s contract, Tigers CEO Brendon Gale has said that the club would not rush a decision because of the airplay that the issue received in the media.
Yesterday Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson was widely quoted across the media for his comments on Fox Footy about Richmond’s need to re-sign Hardwick:
“For the first time, I feel, Richmond has got some stability in the club…….just make the appointment. The uneasiness we went through last year as a footy club, it does disturb the way you go about your business.”
“The sooner those sort of things can happen, it’s not just for Richmond but its for the whole industry. We don’t like seeing other clubs being destabled (sic) because it somehow destabilises your own club.”
Notwithstanding the obvious solidarity for a former assistant and fellow coach, there are many that would agree that the time to extend Hardwick’s contract has come. Gale’s comments on 3AW yesterday however bear the tone of a man who won’t be negotiating a deal in public:
“We’re not going to provide a running commentary into Damien’s appointment. We’ll make an announcement when we’re ready. We’re a professional organisation and we’ll conduct this process accordingly.
“I can understand the context of those comments. He’s a good, loyal friend of Damien’s both professionally and personally, and you probably expect that sort of comment from someone like Al.
“But it won’t have a bearing on our process going forward. We’ll confirm our position when we’re ready and it won’t distract us.”
For the club, it’s the right approach to take. While the Tigers look to be in better shape now than when he took over the team, Hardwick has, nonetheless, only managed to finish 15th and 12th in his first two seasons as coach of the team. There is a lot at stake this year for everyone at Richmond.