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Sideway Tigers? Direct ball movement a key to start: Caracella

Ryan Davidson  April 21, 2017 11:10 AM

AFL 2017 Round 01 - Carlton v Richmond

Brandon Ellis has been a key contributor in Richmond's unbeaten start to the season

RICHMOND'S direct ball movement has been a key factor in its undefeated start to the season, according to assistant coach Blake Caracella.

"We're moving the ball quicker, there's no doubt about that," Caracella told radio station SEN on Friday morning.

"We're not going sideways as much and our ball movement is probably fairly exciting now than last year.

"We don't turn the ball over as much (because) I think last year we turned the ball over a lot in our back half and got scored against.

"But this year I think we're number one or two for not getting scored against for turnovers, and (at) the same time we've been able to move the ball down the ground and score ourselves."

Caracella, who spent seven seasons with Geelong before joining the Tigers this season, said improvement in the contest and an injection of talent have also been big factors in Richmond's resurrection.

He pointed to the inclusion of recycled recruits Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Toby Nankervis and the emergence of talented youngsters such as speedy forward Dan Butler.

Caracella said there has been a new-found belief among the playing group driven by Richmond's younger players after a disappointing 2016, when the Tigers missed the finals for the first time in four seasons.

"I remember starting pre-season for the first, second and third year players and a real shadow of last year hanging over the group," he said.

'But to the boys' credit, they wanted to listen to everything (the coaches) said, and their intent to get better transferred from the first, second and third-year players through to the senior players.

"There was a little bit of talk about the proceeding year for the first four or five weeks (of pre-season), but I haven't heard a word of that for the last three or four months.

"The belief amongst our players is much, much better than it was last year.

"Our older players have been revitalised by winning games of football and seeing the success."