RICHMOND ruckman Ivan Maric expects experienced big man Orren Stephenson to remain a Tiger in 2014.
Stephenson, a 31-year-old three-time North Ballarat premiership player, was on a one-year rookie contract with the Tigers this year after spending a season with Geelong.
While he only played six senior games, he provided solid back-up support to Maric, who had to manage a sore groin at times throughout the season.
While the trade and free agency period are still to come, Maric expects the mobile ruckman to remain at Punt Road for another season.
"I expect him to be around next year. It would be great for our club," Maric told AFL.com.au.
"I think he's been fantastic for our club's culture. He's such a good person, a good family man, and we're lucky to have him.
"He's a great competitor as well."
As far as list management is concerned, Maric believes the Tigers don't need to make drastic moves in the upcoming player movement windows.
However, he said a young ruckman to grow under himself and Stephenson – should he be given another contract - would be a handy addition.
"I think a younger ruckman would definitely be important, just someone to develop for the future because you never know what's going to happen," he said.
"I think we've got a really talented list and a lot of talented players. I think it's about building a team's resolve and ruthlessness and being harder for longer.
"I think it's a pretty important part of the game to have.
"I'm not sure if we need to add too much in the trade period. It's not my decision but I think the team's got good players."
The Tigers held a horse-racing themed Mad Monday in Richmond after Sunday's loss to Carlton but were straight back into business on Tuesday, with two days of individual reviews starting.
The process signalled the start of the recovery for the club, which lost its first final in 12 years at the hands of arch rivals Carlton the day before.
"It's disappointing that it's over, this season, and trying to accept that has been the hardest part," Maric said.
"Our record suggested we probably should have done a bit better in the finals series but we came up against a team that had a lot of experience in finals and they knew how to sustain that level of intensity and hardness for longer, and we couldn't.
"I think that's pretty much what it comes down to."
Maric was one of four players who went into the game with finals experience, having played in three of them for Adelaide during his seven years there.
He said he was still haunted by the Crows' 2009 semi-final loss to Collingwood, which ended with then-Magpie Jack Anthony kicking a final-minute goal to seal victory.
"That sticks with me to today, that feeling," he said.
"But that's good because if you can use that to motivate yourself, you can strive to become better as a team and individuals, and it can be worth something.
"I have 100 per cent belief we can do that and improve again on what we achieved this year."