“Now we have received some gamers coming again which is actually vital for us.”
The Tigers have already emerged as favourites to say back-to-back flags, a push strengthened by a thinning damage listing.
Edwards, a 260-game veteran, stays an important piece of the Tigers’ plans. He brings run, carry and goal-kicking, to not point out huge expertise.
Astbury’s impending return means he joins Dylan Grimes and Noah Balta in giving the Tigers tall choices in defensive 50. Midfield accumulator Prestia has not performed since spherical 5 due to an ankle damage, which later grew to become contaminated.
The Tigers should make at the least two adjustments forward of the Crows’ conflict at Adelaide Oval, for ruckman Ivan Soldo (ruptured his anterior essential ligament and medial ligament) and game-breaking ahead Tom Lynch (hamstring) had been harm within the assertion win over Geelong final week.
“Our guys are actually optimistic with Tom. His scan got here again on the minor facet. He’s operating now, performing some power coaching. It is our understanding he might be obtainable for the primary week of the finals at this stage, which is a optimistic,” Hardwick mentioned.
“What I’ll say is although is that he’s actually optimistic to us and we are going to ensure that he might be proper to go – we’ve one likelihood of getting him proper so we cannot rush it.”
Whereas the Tigers’ main goal might be to lock in third spot on the ladder, will probably be a momentous day for Hardwick, who will equal Tommy Hafey’s file of 248 matches for essentially the most video games as a Richmond senior coach.
Hafey, who died in 2014 aged 82, stays one of many membership’s most well-known names, having led the Tigers from 1966 to 1976, claiming 4 premierships. Whereas Hardwick has two much less premierships so far, he has additionally equalled Hafey by way of taking the membership to seven finals sequence.
“It is fairly humbling,” Hardwick mentioned, praising the executive construction of the membership.
“Speaking about being in the identical sentence as Tommy Hafey is kind of embarrassing in a manner. I take a look at Tommy, he has received 4 flags and has been an unbelievable ambassador of not solely our soccer membership however the AFL normally.”
Hafey’s spouse Maureen has handed on her “properly needs”, with Hardwick including it had been humbling to have obtained final yr’s premiership cup from her.
Hardwick had an inauspicious begin to his teaching profession, dropping his first 9 matches earlier than a breakthrough victory within the slop in opposition to the Energy in Adelaide. Nonetheless, enchancment quickly got here, and he now enjoys a superb successful clip of 57.5 per cent (141 wins, 103 losses, three attracts), one which jumps to 64.6 per cent since 2013 when the Tigers took main steps towards rising as a drive.
The Crows, in the meantime, might be determined to submit what they hope might be a fourth-straight win, having knocked over Hawthorn, Higher Western Sydney and Carlton, in a bid to keep away from the picket spoon.
Jon Pierik is cricket author for The Age. He additionally covers AFL and has received awards for his cricket and basketball writing.