Bachar Houli, Thank You | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
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Bachar Houli, Thank You

MD Jazz

Tiger Legend
Feb 3, 2017
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Just a bit rough on Bachar who through extraordinary courage for the team in the Grand Final probably stuffed up his last year of footy.
His reward was a premiership and another chapter in the legend. Reckon most would trade that for what’s happened since. It’s what team success is built on, sacrifice. It’s ironic, often the bigger the sacrifice the bigger the reward.
 
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123cups

Tiger Champion
May 1, 2016
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At the end of the day, the AFL's list and salary cap rules dissuade clubs from keeping senior players on as depth players later in their careers. It's sad that equalisation measures incentivise clubs to push non-best 22 senior players out the door ASAP, but that's the reality. We will never know if Houli would've bounced back to play another 2-3 years of good football.

Professional athletes are often the last to accept their bodies are shot.

That's true.

People were saying Jack Riewoldt's body was shot 2 years ago though, so it's difficult to tell if a player over 30 has a temporary performance dip vs chronic performance decline.

The rules we operate under encourage us to be trigger happy, which is sad, but it's the reality unfortunately.

Who are we going to leave out of the back six so Houli can play on at 34?

Balta
Grimes
Vlastin
Broad
Stack
Rioli
Short
Mansell
Baker

Of the back 7, we can exclude the 4 KPPs/defensive mediums, as Houli's position isn't affected by them.
Our best 22 would include 3 of the following:

Stack
Rioli
Short
Mansell
Baker

Mid-year, I think it's been said we suggested to Houli that he might continue. Since then, Rioli and Stack emerged down back. I agree that both should be selected ahead of Houli in the backline moving forward. Also, we have Jack Dyer medallist Short as a non-discussion to be selected ahead of Houli. That's 3 of the 3 available best 22 spots filled by younger talents who should be able to match Houli's output, more or less.

After that, we also have Jack Titus Medallist Liam Baker as the next man in line for injury, followed by a competent player in reserve (but is a level below Houli's output). That would leave Houli firmly in the backup-in-case-of-injury category.

The only way Houli plays next year is if 2-3 of Rioli, Stack, Short, Mansell, or Baker get injured and/or play in other positions.

1. Baker is a fair chance to play midfield with Cotchin/Edwards/Lambert/Martin all over 30 and returning from injury.
2. Stack is most likely staying down back, but a great preseason could see him move into the midfield.

That would leave Rioli/Short/Mansell as our premiership defenders with nobody in reserve. But if we're committed to Dow/RCD/Ross types for next year's midfield, then Baker/Stack/Rioli/Short remain preferable down back, which pushes Houli out to about 2nd/3rd in reserve for his position. That would mean ultimately we're selecting Dow or RCD over Houli, with confidence in Mansell, which is a decision made with the future in mind.

In conclusion, the depth player argument is reasonable, but it also suggests the club is willing to take a chance on having a weaker/more vulnerable backline for next year's finals series. We're continuing to take a responsible, long-term approach to list management. With the rules we operate under, I can see why we made this decision, and I guess my frustration lies with the rules we operate under rather than the decision made by the club.
 
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Baloo

Delisted Free Agent
Nov 8, 2005
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That's true.

People were saying Jack Riewoldt's body was shot 2 years ago though, so it's difficult to tell if a player over 30 has a temporary performance dip vs chronic performance decline.

The rules we operate under encourage us to be trigger happy, which is sad, but it's the reality unfortunately.
People were, yeah. Club didn't move on Jack though.

Dimma and the club would have had detailed discussions with Burge and his team to get their opinion as well. Likelihood of recurring injuries, length of rehab times etc etc. Sure none of that is 100% guarantee but its those guys that would know better than anyone.

Houli was loved by all, on field and off field at the club. He was a leader and a living example of the Richmond Man culture. Not only his off field demeanour, but the bloke that played most of the 2020 Grand Final with a torn calf because the club needed him too. Most of us punters had no idea what had happened, we just thought Houli wasn't having a typical Houli GF game.

Any good leader, let alone great leader like Dimma, of people will not call it a day on a team member like that unless it really was time. In fact, you could even think their decision was for Houli's benefit if Burge and co thought the outlook was bleak but Houli refused to believe it.

I can't think of the last time we treated a player unfairly. It's too much a leap to believe we'd do it to Houli.
 
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LeeToRainesToRoach

Tiger Legend
Jun 4, 2006
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Of the back 7, we can exclude the 4 KPPs/defensive mediums, as Houli's position isn't affected by them.
If you consider Grimes/Balta/Vlastuin/Broad to be locks when fit then it leaves room for two runners.
Mid-year, I think it's been said we suggested to Houli that he might continue.
B&F results suggest Houli's contribution this year wasn't rated highly (below all but Mansell on votes per match). Need to clear the decks a little with six draftees possibly incoming.
 
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leon

Tiger Legend
Apr 6, 2014
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At the end of the day, the AFL's list and salary cap rules dissuade clubs from keeping senior players on as depth players later in their careers. It's sad that equalisation measures incentivise clubs to push non-best 22 senior players out the door ASAP, but that's the reality. We will never know if Houli would've bounced back to play another 2-3 years of good football.
Whatever happened to the veteran's allowance which allowed clubs to keep these ageing greats on for another year or two at a discounted salary?

Has that been abolished among all the other cap reductions etc?
 
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Willo

Tiger Legend
Oct 13, 2007
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Aldinga Beach
Whatever happened to the veteran's allowance which allowed clubs to keep these ageing greats on for another year or two at a discounted salary?

Has that been abolished among all the other cap reductions etc?

It was done away with a few years ago.
Once the AFL (before sHocking) realised Geelong had *15 players* with Geelong getting nearly $1.5 million worth of payments discounted.
Or some such foolishness.

I believe it got absorbed into an increase of the TPP
 
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DavidSSS

Tiger Legend
Dec 11, 2017
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Melbourne
Reduction in list size means players like Houli get tapped on the shoulder. Don't like it, don't like it at all.

DS
 
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TigerMasochist

Walks softly carries a big stick.
Jul 13, 2003
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Reduction in list size means players like Houli get tapped on the shoulder. Don't like it, don't like it at all.

DS
Don't have to like it, but the alternative is a list full of almost achieving pensioners rather than a list of always developing n growing possibility.
 
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Tenacious

Tiger Champion
May 19, 2008
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Bigger list means more developing players and the possibility to keep one or two oldies around.

Game simply can’t afford bigger lists in today’s COVID world - let alone if there is ever a 19th team.
Nothing to stop a club keeping oldies now if they want (Burgoyne) but it becomes very hard to justify
 

TigerMasochist

Walks softly carries a big stick.
Jul 13, 2003
21,663
5,248
Bigger list means more developing players and the possibility to keep one or two oldies around.

DS
Never gunna be going back to lists of 100 players n three teams. Lucky to be still carrying 45 players plus top ups to enable clubs to have ressies. Some of the modern thinking experts want clubs to have squads of about 30 elite senior players n bugger the rest off to random unaffiliated competitions.
 

tommystigers

Don't Boo! It is hurtful to the inept and corrupt.
Oct 6, 2004
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Always and forever the beautiful man. I hope his life outside of football exceeds his legendary performance within it.
Our community and society needs men like him.
 
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craig

Tiger Legend
Aug 19, 2004
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An argument could just as easily be made that Bachar's AFL career has gone on one season too many rather than too short.
Went one too many I reckon.

But when you're part of a successful side like that and well enmeshed within the club its gonna be real hard to let go.

Unfortunate end for Bash but it was always on the cards that he wasn't going to be going on any longer once Rioli had re invigorated himself on his flank.
 
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bullus_hit

Whatchu talkin about Jack?
Apr 3, 2006
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Tribute video on Bachar - Put together by Richmond Brotherhood

I think it speaks volumes that Essendon have put it on record that letting Bach go was their greatest mistake in recent times. Be hard pressed to get a bigger steal, absolute legend of the RFC.
 
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