Ty Vickery wasn’t on the field for Richmond’s nine-point loss to St Kilda, but the out-of-sorts forward remains part of coach Damien Hardwick’s plans beyond this AFL season.
Vickery was one of four players dropped for Saturday’s clash at the MCG, sparking fresh speculation he’s set to leave Punt Road as a free agent at the end of the season.
“I probably should have clarified that earlier in the week,” Hardwick said of Vickery’s axing.
“I went to Ty and told him I needed to have a look at these two players … and to his credit he understands.
“He was disappointed to get dropped, don’t get me wrong, but I still maintain Ty is firmly in my best 25.
“He’s not playing as well as what I’d like at the moment, and he agrees with that, but he’s a really important player to our footy club.
“He kicks goals, but I needed to have a look at (Callum) Moore and I needed to have a look at (Todd) Elton … Ty understood that whilst he was still disappointed.”
In their prime, Wayne Carey and Gary Ablett Sr wouldn’t have made much difference inside forward 50 for Richmond in a limp first half against the Saints.
The Tigers managed just 12 forays inside their attacking arc for a return of two goals, and were lucky not to be further down than 21 points.
“We thought our intensity and effort was off … to come out and start like we did was disappointing,” Hardwick said.
“But we spoke to them at halftime and were pretty firm in that we needed to respond and get our game going.
“To their credit, at least they came out (better) but probably didn’t … take our opportunities inside 50.”