MATTHEW RICHARDSON’S TOP 10: Tom De Koning a revelation for Carlton and Nathan Buckley should coach Tasmania

Matthew Richardson
The Nightly
Assistant coach Josh Carr has spoken out after fans booed Ken Hinkley.

1. I had the opportunity to spend a day in Hobart last week with fellow Tasmanian Russell Robertson, the former Demon high flyer.

I’m convinced Tasmania can become a destination club for players that don’t like the big-city lifestyle. Geelong has used the Surf Coast lifestyle to great effect over the years to draw players from bigger Melbourne clubs. Tassie will be able to offer a tree change moreso than a sea change lifestyle for the game’s elite.

2. While on Tasmania, I think Nathan Buckley is the perfect choice to coach the new club.

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And I get the feeling he’s hungry for it. I think Tassie needs an experienced high-profile coach and don’t forget he got the Pies to within a kick of a premiership flag in 2018. Bucks also has the polish and charisma to be the man to front the media to promote the new franchise.

3. Players will always try and milk a free kick.

I did it myself plenty of times in a marking contest but I think it’s time to clamp down and fine players that do this to engineer dangerous tackle free kicks, as happened to Steven May this week. It’s hard enough as it is for the umpires to adjudicate let alone with players taking the mickey.

4. Da da da da da, get excited Baggers fans.

The Blues are the real deal in 2024. They are playing a complete brand of footy. The cherry on top has been the form of Tom De Koning in the ruck. Playing with a combative competitive edge and driven by his youthful energy, he’s added another dimension to the ‘beast mode’ Blues midfield.

5. I like the idea of fast-tracking Australian Football Hall of Fame entries for the women in our game.

My first inductee would be Daisy Pearce. A pioneer who did it all.

6. It’s not a happy place at the moment in Adelaide with the Crows conducting an internal review.

Matty Nicks is safe but you can sense some big changes coming. Across town Port Adelaide have lost three in a row. The latest a 79-point drubbing by Brisbane. Some late goals flattered the scoreboard. They would be very worried at Alberton.

7. We had North young gun George Wardlaw on radio during the week.

We asked him what music he listened to? He answered, You Am I, Oasis and the Stone Roses. My faith in humanity was restored.

8. I am very happy that Tom Hawkins injury isn’t season ending.

I would have hated if that was the last we saw of the Tomahawk on an AFL ground.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Tom Hawkins of the Cats is seen on crutches after the 2024 AFL Round 15 match between the Carlton Blues and the Geelong Cats at The Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 21, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Tom Hawkins after the Geelong loss to Carlton. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

9. Why do people have loud conversations on their phones on trams and trains?

I was riding the Mernda line in Melbourne from Flinders Street to Northcote. The whole 15-minute trip I had to listen to a guy talking “strategically” about the rebranding and relaunch of his business. Surely he could have waited to get either off the train or into his office. Not a fan. Are you?

10. On the home front, the weather is icy in Melbourne.

The barometer for how cold it is in our house is our cat Kev. When he lobs on our bed at night you know winter has truly arrived. The floor heating no longer cuts it apparently. He joins my two-year-old daughter in our room. It’s a full house. Fair to say I ain’t sleeping much.


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