REIGNING premier Richmond has hit the track as a whole playing group for the first time since September's triumph.
While the first-to-fourth years returned last week, Monday marked the start of pre-season for the entire squad, including the five new draftees.
The only players not to take the field were livewire Sydney Stack (returned to Western Australia for a funeral) and Jack Higgins, who is on a modified, part-time program as he recovers from brain surgery.
Whole Richmond squad has hit the track for the first pre-season session pic.twitter.com/A8zeMAEojh— Sarah Black (@_sjblack) December 1, 2019
A handful of senior players were on light programs, including Virgin Australia AFL All Australians Bachar Houli, and Dylan Grimes (left wrist clean-out), best and fairest Dion Prestia, preliminary final hero Jack Graham (shoulder reconstruction) and Toby Nankervis (adductor).
Nick Vlastuin is easing back into training after returning from a visit to India with club partner World Wildlife Fund, while youngsters Shai Bolton, Jake Aarts and Luke English also worked away from the main group.
Nick Vlaustuin and Dion Prestia running laps on Monday. Picture: Michael Willson
The main squad took part in a series of skill and agility drills in small groups, before changing to full-ground ball movement work.
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The Tigers added Thomson Dow (pictured below), Noah Cumberland, Will Martyn, Hugo Ralphsmith and Bigoa Nyuon in last week's NAB AFL Draft, and the quintet did a mix of observation and light skill work in the first day at the club.
Dustin Martin was back at Punt Road after an off-season which involved holidaying alongside tennis champion Serena Williams, and skipper Trent Cotchin confirmed his superstar midfield teammate had finally picked up his car from the MCG after September's Grand Final.
"It's not at the 'G, he actually went and picked it up himself, so that was a surprise," Cotchin said with a laugh.
Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin at Punt Road on Monday. Picture: Michael Willson
Star defender Alex Rance was in the main group, after missing the vast majority of 2019 with a ruptured ACL.
"We always have to hold back 'Rancey'. I know there's been some of the commentary around the draft's been had and we get a new draft pick in Alex Rance this year, which is really exciting for our footy club," Cotchin said.
"His mountain of work he did, not just on the field, but particularly with our VFL side [in 2019], that's going to be amazing for us and his development this season. He's as fit as ever, I think he had a little tidy up [operation], but he's ready to go."
The five draftees are on the track, albeit on a light session pic.twitter.com/gjXhifPiGI— Sarah Black (@_sjblack) December 1, 2019
Cotchin said despite two flags in three years, the club was hungry for more.
"The reality is, the less you focus on what's happened and what might happen, the better. You just focus on the now and what you can control," he said.
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"You can look at it from two different aspects. One is rest on your successes, or you can be motivated by the experience you had.
"I know the group we have in this footy club is really hungry, and we'll be doing everything we can, day in and day out to continue to grow and get better. That's what excites me as a leader of the footy club."
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Richmond announced it has now raised more than $1m since 2012 for charity partner the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
"This comes from a share of our retail sales [and] membership donations at various match days," club CEO Brendon Gale said.
"It's a significant amount of money, but more importantly, it's money that will be very, very well spent by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to protect children from violence and bullying."