No one can accuse the Richmond Tigers of letting success go to their heads.
Winning teams often experience a letdown the following season, or as it is sometimes known in the AFL, a “premiership hangover,” with the surprise premiers from 2016, the Western Bulldogs, supplying a textbook example.
The Tigers are still the number five contenders to win the flag in the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition, so at least from the bookmakers’ points of view; expectations of the 2018 Richmond Tigers are muted.
That might change, incrementally at least, after the Tigers announced that they had granted extensions to three of the players that played key roles in the 2017 flag.
Those three are Dylan Grimes, jack Graham and Toby Nankervis.
All three were signed for the 2018 season, with Grimes receiving the longest extension, three years.
Ruckman Nankervis came over from the Sydney Swans on a three-year deal to start the 2017 season, where he was an immediate darling of the fans. The Tigers added another year to his contract, making him a Punt Road fixture until the end of the 2020 season.
Graham may have benefitted from the exception job he did on the Adelaide Crows’ Rory Sloane in the grand final, but he nonetheless received a two-year extension.
Quoted in the AAP, Tigers’ football boss Neil Balme said, “It’s pleasing to see that Toby, Dylan and Jack are all invested in the long-term future of the Richmond Football Club. Toby and Jack came to Richmond just over a year ago and seamlessly fitted into the club’s culture.They were prepared to work hard from day one and this ultimately showed with their success in 2017.”
It was unlikely that Balme would say, “We had some spare cash lying about and those three happened to be the first three we saw when we stuck our heads out the door, so we handed it to them,” but Balme’s communication skills are what earns him a slot in the executive suite.
Richmond will be taking part in the launch of the AFLX short-format round-robin exhibition in Sydney on February 17.