New Richmond coach Adem Yze erases club’s prized premiership photo: ‘Why is that in this room?’

New Richmond coach Adem Yze has been entrusted to prise open the premiership window for the powerhouse AFL club, but he soon realised to do that he needed first to let in some “clean air”.

Speaking exclusively to 7NEWS, Yze has revealed one of his first acts as a senior coach at the club’s famous Punt Road Oval was to remove a prized possession.

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The Tigers have come out of a recent glory period under former coach Damien Hardwick, winning flags in 2017 followed by back-to-back premierships in 2019 and 2020.

But many think the era is well and truly over with Hardwick walking out last season and greats Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt retiring at season’s end.

The Tigers also missed out on finals last year, as well just making the cut the season before and missing again in 2021.

Adem Yze said he needed to set a fresh tone in the club. Credit: Seven

Still, expectations remain high for the 2024 season and Yze is well aware of that.

Channel 7’s sports reader Tim Watson asked Yze if he was conscious “of trying to reset the football club”.

“Yeah, there’s obviously a balance with that …,” Yze said.

“You want to come and set a tone and … (share) your mindset and your philosophy around the way you want to play and — and not only the way you want to play — (but) the way you want the environment to feel.

“I had I had the luxury of walking in and recognising different photos that are up that might have been (on the wall) for too long and things like that. It’s just like .. we need some clear air here.”

One of the photos Yze was referring to a was a picture of Richmond’s 2017 premiership team.

“(I said), ‘why is that in this room? That was six years ago’,” he said.

“I felt like I was disrespecting people by saying, ‘Does this need to be in here? Can we can we move it? Can we get some blank walls?’ But like I said, the leaders bought into that.

“We had a discussion around it and it was time that that needed to be shifted and almost (covered up) like a fresh coat of paint.”

So the reset is on and the desire from the players is there.

Yze talks to his players during Richmond’s practice match with Melbourne at Casey Fields. Credit: AFL Photos via Getty Images

“A threat for a coach (is if the players) have won three flags, is that enough (for them)?” Yze said.

“But I have have not sensed that at all. There’s guys there running PBs in 2km (time trials) and there (are players) trying to train the house down with you with amazing intensity … and they just look driven to try to get back to where they’ve been before.”

And there is of course the mouth-watering prospect of superstar Dustin Martin returning to his best.

“Well, the main thing is (Dusty) looks happy and enjoying his footy and for me, as a coach, that’s what I want to be able to provide an environment that he can come in and know that he can still improve …,” Yze said.

“And he’s training with the midfield and he hasn’t done that for a couple of years.

“He’ll still obviously play forward a lot and and do his thing inside forward 50, but centre-bounce structures are different. The way that we move the ball from the centre bounce is different and I need him to be involved in that.”

Yze said part of the attraction of joining Richmond was about the club’s 100,000-plus members and the fact that “the head office is just humming”.

He said it was “a strong footy club” and that allows him to just focus on his staff and playing group so they can “get back to playing finals footy”.

“(The Tiger Army) is not daunting, I feel that’s exciting,” he said.

“Like, when I played, I loved playing in front of big crowds and that got me going, so coaching is going to be really similar to (that).

“I went for the GWS job (in Sydney) and part of an anxiety was around growing a game and how do we get crowd there … How do we get a bigger crowd?

“So for a young coach … the fact that we’ve got an amazing supporter base, (I just hope give them a gameplan) they they feel excited about and they’re really proud of coming to watch us play.”


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