Richmond Tigers finished the season in 12th place on the AFL ladder, six points ahead of Carlton Blues.
Richmond had nine wins, one draw and 12 losses; they wouldn’t be happy with finishing outside the top eight after winning the premiership in 2020.
They have lost Bachar Houli and David Astbury due to retirement, but will gain some experience with Robbie Tarrant from North Melbourne being a part of their back six in season 2022. Along with that they will regain Ivan Soldo, who should take the pressure off Toby Nankervis being the only recognised ruckman in the squad.
To be fair, they had some bad luck in season 2021, with only four players playing every game: Jayden Short, Jack Graham, Liam Baker and Jack Riewoldt. It will be intriguing to see what transpires in season 2022 with regards to how consistent the Richmond Tigers are and whether they play finals.
Nathan Broad has to be regarded as a pivotal part of the Tigers’ back six and their team as a whole, as they won seven games and lost seven games, in the 14 games that he was in the team in season 2021, until injury curtailed his season. Those wins included a victory over grand finalists Western Bulldogs in Round 7, where Broad had his most disposals of 2021, finishing the game with 25.
He had the second highest average disposal efficiency percentage of any Tiger in season 2021, with an average of 84.29 per cent disposal efficiency, which shows that he doesn’t butcher the footy and rarely chooses the wrong option when he has possession of the ball.
Last but not least, he finished equal tenth in the Richmond Tigers best and fairest, equal with Trent Cotchin, who played 17 games, which is a remarkable effort.
Kane Lambert is a pivotal part of the Richmond Tigers team. He finished ninth in the best and fairest in season 2021, despite only featuring in 13 games in season 2021, as he was unavailable for nine games due to injury.
He still averaged 20.62 disposals in season 2021, despite spending a fair amount of time on a half forward flank. In the same season he averaged the equal fourth highest goal assists of any Richmond Tigers player with an average of 0.77 goal assists per game, the same average as Jack Riewoldt.
He averaged the second-most score involvements of any Tiger in season 2021 with an average of 6.23 score involvements per game. He is a player who often goes unnoticed, but deserves more credit for what he produces, which will hopefully change in season 2022.
Jayden Short will be the only small running defender for the Richmond Tigers in 2022, due to Houli’s retirement. He managed to play every game in season 2021 and average the most disposals and metres gained of any Richmond Tigers player. He averaged 24.64 disposals per game in season 2021 as well as an average of 546.05 metres gained.
There’s no doubt that Short will need be durable in season 2022, like he was in season 2021, where he played all 22 games. He creates plenty of run out of defence.
Despite winning so much of the ball in season 2021 he averaged an impressive 81.17 per cent disposal efficiency per game, which shows why he will be such a valuable player for Richmond in season 2022.
He has to finish higher than seventh in the Richmond Tigers best and fairest, which was where he finished in season 2021, if the Richmond Tigers are to feature in finals in season 2022.
Tom Lynch was the missing piece of the puzzle in season 2021, as he missed four games through injury, two of which they lost to teams that didn’t make the finals. The Tigers lost to the West Coast Eagles in Round 13 by four points! They also lost to St Kilda in Round 15, without him in the team where they managed to score an unacceptable 22 points, comprising two goals and ten behinds!
In the 18 games that he did feature in during season 2021, he kicked multiple goals on ten occasions. He did average the most score involvements of any Richmond Tigers player with an average of 6.39 score involvements per game in season 2021 and will be looking to replicate that and help his side play finals in season 2022.
He averaged 1.94 goals per game. It’s essential that he kicks at least 50 goals and plays every game provided he is fit and available in season 2022, if the Tigers are to have a successful season.