Adem Yze has won the race for Richmond’s senior AFL coaching role, edging out Tigers interim boss Andrew McQualter for the job.
The Tigers confirmed Yze as the man to replace Damien Hardwick after the three-time premiership coach quit Richmond in May.
Former St Kilda forward and longtime Tigers assistant, Andrew McQualter, impressed as interim coach in Hardwick’s absence and had been a strong chance to be offered the full-time gig, but Richmond bosses have opted for an outside voice in Yze.
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“This is a club steeped in history and blessed with a magnificent supporter base. I feel very humbled to have been given this opportunity,” Yze said.
“I can’t wait to meet the playing group and start building towards the 2024 season.”
Much of the debate over the two highly successful candidates will have centred around whether the proven Richmond premiership IP of McQualter or the new perspective of Yze was the preferred direction.
But they have opted to bring Yze into Punt Road, who brings premiership IP of his own.
The 2001 Demons best and fairest winner has taken control of much of Melbourne’s gameday strategy, and was a key influence during their 2021 premiership year.
Melbourne senior coach Simon Goodwin often coaches from the boundary line, so relies on the eyes of Yze in the coaches’ box.
Yze was delisted in 2008 after 271 games and 234 goals for the Dees.
It would be four years before he made a return to the AFL industry, where he took a job as a part-time development coach at Hawthorn.
He then replaced Luke Beveridge as the Hawks’ backline coach when the Western Bulldogs poached Beveridge at the end of the 2014 season, and is credited as being a key architect in the Hawks’ storied ball movement that saw them win three successive premierships.
The 45-year-old has won the Tigers’ top job after two unsuccessful attempts at landing a senior gig with Essendon and GWS last year, when he ran second to Brad Scott and Adam Kingsley, respectively.
Working in his favour though was the success of Kingsley in his first year, who himself was a candidate for multiple senior coaching roles before eventually landing the Giants’ job.
Kingsley narrowly missed out on jobs at Collingwood, Carlton, Gold Coast and Adelaide, but proved multiple rejections is no barrier to success with his preliminary final berth leading the Giants this year.
Richmond’s new leader boasts a resume that includes time working alongside four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn), as well eventual senior coaches Beveridge, Hardwick, Adam Simpson (West Coast), Brendon Bolton (Carlton), Chris Fagan (Brisbane), Brett Ratten (St Kilda, had already coached Carlton) and Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn).
Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams has also mentored Yze during his time at Melbourne, Williams a key member of the Dees’ coaching staff since the end of 2020.
Yze was drafted to the Demons with pick No.4 in the 1994 draft and was named in the 2002 All-Australian team.
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