Veteran AFL newsman Caroline Wilson has questioned whether Richmond's mediocre signifier of precocious is successful portion owed to manager Damien Hardwick's off-field issues from earlier successful the year.
Richmond, who since 2017 person claimed 3 AFL premierships, slipped extracurricular of the apical 8 past week pursuing a daze 10-point nonaccomplishment to the struggling Gold Coast Suns astatine Marvel Stadium.
Wilson astatine the commencement of this twelvemonth wrote successful The Age that Hardwick's off-field issues, namely his caller narration with a Tigers staffer that followed his highly publicised matrimony break-up, tarnished his enactment astatine the nine successful the eyes of galore unit astatine Tigerland.
With Richmond present successful jeopardy of missing retired connected a spot successful the finals pursuing 3 consecutive losses, Wilson pondered whether Hardwick's off-field issues had taken a toll connected the on-field broadside of things.
"I wrote successful January that helium had tarnished his enactment astatine Richmond due to the fact that of issues that had happened disconnected the tract and I cognize Damien and galore astatine Richmond didn't similar this article, but I basal by it," Wilson told Nine's Footy Classified.
"I surely felt astatine the clip that helium had wounded the nine and helium had fto the nine down by the mode he'd handled his off-field issues and the interruption up of his marriage.
"I don't cognize whether the off-field is affecting the on-field astatine the Richmond Football Club – lone the players and manager tin cognize that. But what I bash cognize is that large shot clubs are beardown and agreed and clasp unneurotic astatine each point.
"And I cognize that determination are radical astatine Richmond who person not enjoyed immoderate of the things that person happened off-field arsenic a effect of Damien's idiosyncratic issues. I cognize it's a tricky subject, but that's the fact.
"This is simply a squad that person been unbelievable for 4 years and was threatening for finals for astir of the years earlier that."
Houli wounded adds to Richmond woes
"I'm not amazed that players mightiness person mislaid a spot of hunger and they're getting older and injuries person cruelled them and possibly it's conscionable excessively hard to enactment astatine the apical for a 5th twelvemonth successful a row."
"As they rebuild present and enactment becomes a large contented astatine Richmond connected and disconnected the field, I conscionable wonderment if there's immoderate impact."
Wilson besides revealed that her claims person led to Hardwick present refusing to look connected 3AW.
"I lone go alert successful caller weeks that helium really won't travel connected 3AW astatine all, he's banned the full station. Which seems bonzer to me, I'm lone connected 1 pre-game conception each weekend," she added.
"I'm a shot writer – I've had my blues with Richmond successful the past – I've had worse blues probably. It's truly absorbing that he's banned each of 3AW, I deliberation that's beauteous strange."
For a regular dose of the champion of the breaking quality and exclusive contented from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!