Youth to help Tigers regain their roar
RICHMOND captain Trent Cotchin believes the club's younger players will help push the Tigers back to September action after they fell by 39 points to Collingwood on Friday night.
Cotchin was one of his team's better players against the Magpies, along with fellow veteran Jack Riewoldt, but he said it would be the next wave of players coming through the ranks that would reignite the spark for 2019.
"I think you have to look at the way our VFL team performed, they didn't finish the year the way they wanted to but there is lots of exciting youth and growth from within," Cotchin said.
"We have still got a lot of young guys, which is exciting, and we are creating a really strong culture which we are really proud of and continuing to drive.
"It will be talked about that there is a lot of pressure going into a season as there was on the back of winning a premiership but I was really proud of the guys with the way they continued to show up and accept that it is what it is and they gave their all."
Collingwood stunned Richmond in the opening half of the preliminary final, kicking 10 goals to two to take a 44-point lead into half-time.
It meant the Tigers were always playing catch up football and although they got within 21 points early in the last term, they were gone the moment Adam Treloar jagged an unlikely goal from the pocket at the 10-minute mark.
But Cotchin said despite the severe feeling of disappointment among the playing group that they could not get the win and earn a chance to defend their flag, he was proud of the season over all.
"They (the Magpies) played really well, we played really poorly and the game is pretty simple when it is like that," he said.
"We spoke about the year we had and we are really proud as a whole club, both on and off the field, so we celebrate the journey, not the destination.
"We still feel like we have got some growth in us, which is really exciting."