Tigers stay­ing hun­gry for flags

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - DAN BAT­TEN AFL

RICH­MOND cap­tain Trent Cotchin says the taste of premier­ship glory will drive his side as the Tigers hunt backto-back flags.

The Tigers’ se­nior play­ers joined pre-season train­ing yes­ter­day, a lit­tle more than two months af­ter win­ning last season’s grand fi­nal.

“You can look at it from two dif­fer­ent as­pects – rest on your suc­cesses or you can be mo­ti­vated by the ex­pe­ri­ence that you had,” Cotchin said yes­ter­day.

“I know the group we have at this footy club is re­ally hun­gry and we’ll do ev­ery­thing we can day in day out to grow and get bet­ter.”

With Alex Rance back in their de­fen­sive line-up the Tigers are favourites to take out their third premier­ship in four sea­sons. But the dual premier­ship skip­per knows it will take more than the five-time All-Aus­tralian for them to achieve the holy grail in 2020.

“Ev­ery foot­ball club when they start pre-season their goal is to win a premier­ship,” Cotchin said.

“The re­al­ity is a lot needs to go your way, you need to per­form at your best for a long pe­riod of time and you need a lot of luck.

“We’re still a long way from our first game so there’s plenty of work to be done.”

Rance was look­ing trim at the Tigers’ first ses­sion back, with Cotchin ad­ding it’s been dif­fi­cult to hold him back in his re­cov­ery from an ACL in­jury.

The Brown­low medal­list says Rance is “as fit as ever” and be­lieves his off-field work will be in­valu­able for the Tigers in their pur­suit of an­other premier­ship.

“I know that some of the com­men­tary around is that the draft’s been had and we get a new ‘draft pick’ next year in Alex Rance, which is amaz­ing,” Cotchin said.

“His moun­tain of work that he did not only on the field, par­tic­u­larly with our VFL pro­gram last year, is go­ing to be amaz­ing for us and his de­vel­op­ment this season.”

Grand Fi­nal heart­break story Jack Gra­ham (shoul­der), Toby Nankervis (groin) and Dy­lan Grimes (wrist) were among those on light du­ties at their first ses­sion back af­ter all three un­der­went surgery in the off-season. Gra­ham and Nankervis are ex­pected to be back into full train­ing af­ter Christ­mas.

It was also the first train­ing ses­sion for Rich­mond’s new crop of draftees, with Thom­son Dow, Bris­bane academy pair Noah Cum­ber­land and Wil­liam Mar­tyn, Hugo Ralph­smith and Bigoa Nyuon get­ting a feel for the Punt Road turf.

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