Tigers kick off AFL pre-season training

Brett Deledio didn’t stew over Richmond’s third elimination final defeat in a row but the Tigers star agrees preventing another swift AFL finals exit will motivate many of his teammates in 2016.

A season of such promise ended abruptly at the hands of North Melbourne, but Richmond took their first step towards putting the pain of that defeat behind them on Friday when they gathered for the first training session of their pre-season campaign at Punt Road.

“Some blokes will probably be motivated by that more than others,” Deledio said.

“Other guys will just look to motivate themselves by striving to get as good as we can and win that ultimate prize.

“It’s something that will always be there but I’m certainly not stewing over it.

“We’ll learn from it and move on.”

Avoiding the same sluggish starts that have hampered each of their past three campaigns will be a key for Damien Hardwick’s men as they look to remove elimination finals from the equation altogether by snaring an elusive top-four berth.

Deledio admitted the Tigers will have some extra motivation early next season when they face Adam Treloar and Collingwood in the second round.

The prized recruit raised eyebrows recently when he said the Magpies’ superior list, in his view at least, was the reason he chose to spurn an offer to join Richmond to sign with Collingwood.

“I think Adam got a bit star struck when he was in front of the cameras and the microphones, it is what it is, it just makes round two pretty interesting doesn’t it?” Deledio said.

“Of course he’s going to say that about his side but I’m going to say the (same) about my side. We’re very confident with where we’re going.”

The 28-year-old managed calf and Achilles issues through his last pre-season campaign and while he’ll undergo another modified program, he didn’t require any post-season surgery and has a clean bill of health at the start of this preparation.

The Tigers’ most recent first-round draft pick Daniel Rioli and star defender Alex Rance, who the club granted extended leave, were the only players not to train, with Rioli to join his new teammates on Monday.

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