The new captain, ace sharp-shooter Jack Riewoldt and exciting young gun Dustin Martin are all about to start new negotiations of deals to lock them into the Tigers premiership march.
Ironically, new Tigers football manager Dan Richardson will hit his Punt Road office at a full-tilt sprint this month with vital insider knowledge on some of the needs to secure Richmond’s three biggest re-signings.
Richardson has just jumped out of the hurly-burly of contract negotiations around the league as one of the game’s most respected player agents.
He joins the Tigers as replacement for Craig Cameron who surprisingly resigned on the eve of the NAB Cup competition starting early last month.
It is not without strong prospect that Richardson as the new Tigers football operations boss had already held a preliminary chat on Cotchin’s potentially lucrative and highly likely lengthy deal as the trump player and skipper well into this decade..
Cotchin, 23 and a Brownlow medallist in-waiting, is managed by Richardson’s immediate past employer and the highly rated Elite Sports Properties, headed by former Collingwood ace Craig Kelly.
Cotchin, Riewoldt and Martin are unlikely to be headed out of Tigerland with what promises ahead.
On the back of some calculated recruitment of mature-aged and experienced AFL exponents in the mould of tight defender Troy Chaplin, forward Aaron Edwards and versatile utility pair Chris Knights and Ricky Petterd, the Tigers confront projections of a first finals campaign since 2001.
The Tigers are genuine final-eight candidates with an encouraging fixture draw this season after 10 wins and a draw last season, as well as six losses by two-goals or less.
They lost three consecutive games from Round 16-18 last year by two points to Gold Coast, four to North Melbourne and another four to Carlton and fell out of real finals prospects.
A cornerstone in the immediate and longer terms in that sustained finals planning, is retention of play-makers around the ball in Cotchin and Martin and a finisher in calibre of Riewoldt, already a dual Coleman medallist for heading the league’s goal-kicking from a side outside the finals throughout his six-year career.
Riewoldt, 24, recently engaged the services of another high powered agent Liam Pickering in a switch from the agency formerly owned and run by disgraced player manager Ricky Nixon and now headed up by former Essendon star Scott Lucas.
Pickering is also handling the delicate negotiations with Hawthorn and superstar Lance Franklin’s new deal, as well as hordes of other offers expected to pour in over the course of protracted discussions on whether the game’s most influential power forward stays a Hawk or controversially moves on.
Martin, only 21 and one of the game’s biggest rising stars and like Cotchin probably capable f winning a Brownlow with a consistent season somewhere into his near future, has also engaged a hard-core negotiator for his newest contract discussions.
Martin has joined Ralph Carr, who was heavily involved in the sometimes nasty negotiations between Collingwood management and Travis Cloke to eventually keep the 2010 premiership power forward at the Magpies.