If Richmond flips a Premier League flag around this time next year, they will be certified as one of the AFL’s greatest teams of all time.
Club favorites, including Neil Balme, will be in front of 50,000 fans at the MCG on Thursday evening show off the spoils of the 2019 and 2020 Tiger Triumphs.
With a capacity of 50 percent or less, a parochial crowd will be in the ground in Richmond for the traditional season opening bout with Carlton.
It will be the club’s first move to reach heights not even die-hard Tigers fan could have imagined five years ago.
After 37 years without a Premiership, the Richmond supporters usher in the current golden era, with the Tigers three of the last four Premierships.
The season they missed out on, 2018, was their most dominant after landing on the ladder, but was undone in the pre-finals by a Mason Cox cameo. </ Two teams have won three consecutive premierships this century – the Brisbane Lions (2001-03) and Hawthorn (2013-15) – but failed to achieve a fourth title in five years, five of since Melbourne between 1955 and 1955 won six in 1960.
Even the Hawks powerhouse teams of the 1980s and early 1990s split their five premierships over nine seasons.
Despite Richmond’s shot in history, Captain Trent Cotchin has insisted on the Tigers not motivated by great teams from other eras.
Time will tell how much energy Damien Hardwick’s group took in the unique experience of winning a Premier League in the Queensland hub last season.
But their journey to the flag of 2021 begins against a team that hasn’t lost in eight years when the Tigers were joking.
While Geelong, the team that defeated Richmond in last year’s grand finale Has Port Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions are strong candidates for the Tiger Crown, any team with Dustin Martin already has a huge advantage.
Apart from defenseman Bachar Houli (Kalb), most of the Tigers Premiership team has been named to take on the blues.
Two-time Premier League hero Marlion Pickett is in for a chance to be named the first medical substitute in Richmond after being included as one of four emergencies.
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