Tigers taking it one out-of-contract player at a time
RICHMOND spearhead Jack Riewoldt is confident speculation around the futures of Alex Rance and Dustin Martin won’t derail the Tigers’ premiership campaign.
Both star players are out of contract at the end of this season, with Rance also set to become a free agent.
The 25-year-old West Australian earned All Australian honours for the first time last season and reportedly has already attracted the attention of Fremantle.
“It was a fantastic year for Alex, but (they’re) contract talks and I’m not his manager so I’m not going to be talking about his finances,” Riewoldt said. “He’s a required player and a great character. He’s someone that you can really build a football club and a back line around.
“Whatever will be (will be) with Rancey, but I’m really looking forward to playing with him in 2015.
“And it will play out the way it will play out (with Martin). Hopefully he signs soon, but I’m looking forward to playing with him in 2015 (too).”
With the NAB Challenge looming, Riewoldt gave the Tigers’ pre-season campaign a tick of approval, with the disappointment of last year’s brutal elimination final defeat at the hands of Port Adelaide a distant memory.
“It’s not motivation for us (now),” he said.
“For us it’s about focusing on the pre-season and setting ourselves up strongly for 2015.”
Riewoldt was speaking at a McDonald’s sponsorship announcement similar to the one last year where he drew the ire of coach Damien Hardwick when he criticised Richmond’s game plan. The 26-year-old was more circumspect this time and can see the lighter side of the situation in hindsight.
“It’s a bit of fun,” he said. “You learn from your mistakes — no one’s perfect. Clearly I’m not.”