Richmond add ‘life-sized camel’ to inner-sanctum in bid to return to AFL finals

Richmond are desperately hoping new coach Adem Yze can get them back into the AFL finals mix this year after a disappointing 2023 where they fell to thirteenth on the ladder.

And with that goal in mind, they are turning to an unusual and somewhat bizarre source of inspiration for the pre-season.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Daicos dumps Murphy, Tigers turn to a camel.

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The Tigers have planted what 7NEWS chief AFL reporter Mitch Cleary has described as a “life-sized camel” on the top of one of their interchange boxes at their Punt Road Oval home base.

“Richmond has a new recruit ahead of Adem Yze’s first season,” Cleary said.

“Don’t be shocked driving down Punt Road this summer … a life-sized camel added to the Tigers’ inner-sanctum.”

The camel Richmond hope will get them over their finals ‘hump’. Credit: Seven

Cleary revealed there was a simple explanation for the unusual addition.

“The theme has been running all pre-season, built on the camel’s ability to withstand extreme conditions,” he said.

“Fitness staff are hoping it’s the edge they need to get over the hump of missing finals.”

The Tigers won their last grand final in 2020, their third during former coach Damien Hardwick’s reign.

But since then they have missed finals in 2021 and 2023, and were knocked out in the first week of the finals in 2022.

Last season was a year turmoil for the club when Hardwick shocked the AFL world when he decided to quit in May.

The Tigers also lost club champions and leaders in Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt, who decided to hang up the boots on their glittering careers at season’s end.

What lies ahead is a year of a change, and the Tigers are searching for inspiration in this new era.

Only 10 days ago, AFL champion Ben Cousins made a surprise appearance at the club, much to the delight of the players.

Cousins, who played the final two years of his career at the Tigers, watched training intently and was seen on the sidelines giving the players a fist pump and rev-up.

The Brownlow medallist is also a tale of extreme resilience after surviving a long-running and public battle with drugs before turning his life around.

Superstar Dustin Martin, whose debut season in 2010 coincided with Cousins’ last, was one of the first players to share a hug with his former teammate.

And Cousins also shared nice moments with Nathan Broad, Dan Rioli, Liam Baker and Nick Vlastuin.

Vlaustin is currently in concussion protocols but the defender is expected to be training again next week.

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