Infotainment Factory: Hardwick fights back tears in emotional speech

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Friday, 21 September 2018

Hardwick fights back tears in emotional speech


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Damien Hardwick has broken down in the Richmond change rooms while addressing his team after their shock AFL preliminary final loss to Collingwood.

The Tigers coach assembled all Richmond players and staff in a mass huddle after their 39-point loss to Collingwood which denied the club a chance at defending their 2017 flag.

"We're all family. Get around each other. Give each other a hug. It's tough, this game," he said through tears.

Richmond were red hot favourites coming into the match after a 18-4 season that brought the club their first minor premiership since 1982.

Collingwood's win was the biggest AFL preliminary boilover this century.

In a stirring off-the-cuff address, Hardwick showed why the Tigers have come to represent the AFL benchmark for club culture.

"We're a strong footy club. We're a united footy club," he said.

"And we learn from the losses.

"Unfortunately we don't get another opportunity until next year.

"It's a disappointing end. But I commend you on the job you've done.

"Hold your heads up."

Club chief executive Brendon Gale and Trent Cotchin also addressed the group.

"Sport builds character and also reveals character," Gale said.

"You've revealed your character.

"We'll regroup and we'll be better ... the game evolves and we will evolve."

Players and staff spent much of the aftermath of the defeat embracing each other.

Teenage gun Jack Higgins, the youngest player on the MCG on Friday night, was one of several players to shed tears.

Damien Hardwick has broken down in the Richmond change rooms while addressing his team after their shock AFL preliminary final loss to Collingwood.

The Tigers coach assembled all Richmond players and staff in a mass huddle after their 39-point loss to Collingwood which denied the club a chance at defending their 2017 flag.

"We're all family. Get around each other. Give each other a hug. It's tough, this game," he said through tears.

Richmond were red hot favourites coming into the match after a 18-4 season that brought the club their first minor premiership since 1982.

Collingwood's win was the biggest AFL preliminary boilover this century.

In a stirring off-the-cuff address, Hardwick showed why the Tigers have come to represent the AFL benchmark for club culture.

"We're a strong footy club. We're a united footy club," he said.

"And we learn from the losses.

"Unfortunately we don't get another opportunity until next year.

"It's a disappointing end. But I commend you on the job you've done.

"Hold your heads up."

Club chief executive Brendon Gale and Trent Cotchin also addressed the group.

"Sport builds character and also reveals character," Gale said.

"You've revealed your character.

"We'll regroup and we'll be better ... the game evolves and we will evolve."

Players and staff spent much of the aftermath of the defeat embracing each other.

Teenage gun Jack Higgins, the youngest player on the MCG on Friday night, was one of several players to shed tears.

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