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All paths lead to 2018 for Richo

Richo's mid-season review (PART 2) Senior coach Alan Richardson recaps the first 11 rounds of the year in his mid-season review. (PART 2)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Alan Richardson, Senior Coach of the Saints addresses his players during the 2015 AFL round 17 match between the Melbourne Demons and the St Kilda Saints at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on July 26, 2015. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Alan Richardson is overseeing a complete rebuild at the Saints.
Every decision we make will all be about winning a premiership.
Alan Richardson

ALAN Richardson sees no reason why St Kilda can’t be a top four team in the 2018-2020 period.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s On the Couch earlier this week, the senior coach said his method in achieving this ambition would revolve around playing an entertaining and attacking brand of football.

“I really believe that playing the way we are playing is what will be successful for us,” Richardson said.

“That is the way that we will draft, that is the way that we will trade and that’s the way I think the game should be played. It is an attractive brand.”

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Whether it is the coaches St Kilda employs, the players it drafts and trades for and even the week-to-week selection decisions it makes, everything the club is doing is geared towards challenging for a flag.

“Our President Peter Summers has come out and said that in that 2018-2020 period, we want to be absolutely looking to be a top four team and giving ourselves an opportunity to win a premiership,” Richardson said.

“That’s what we are there for, to win a premiership. Every decision we make will all be about winning a premiership.”

When quizzed about the state of the modern day game, the 50-year-old, who recently re-committed until the end of 2018, prefaced his thoughts by saying he still loves Australian football.

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But when pressed, he conceded the football public had the most powerful voice, not the coaches.

“I still love the game now, but if the fans who are paying money and the TV stations that are wanting people to watch are saying ‘there is a bit of a turn off,’ then that is pretty significant for our game,” he said.

“I go along to the under 18s competition and watch the three forwards and three defenders rule inside the arcs and I like it.

“If it is a numbers thing, then I think the only way is to trial some under 18 style zoning when the umpire has the footy at stoppages in the NAB Challenge and see what it looks like. I’d like it to be a slowly approach as opposed to a new rule and then we are all saying ‘what have we done?’

“I think that’s the way to go.” 

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