Richmond coach Yze raring for Melbourne reunion

Anna Harrington |

Richmond coach Adem Yze comes up against his former club for the first time.
Richmond coach Adem Yze comes up against his former club for the first time.

Preparing to face Melbourne has unexpectedly hit first-year Richmond coach Adem Yze in the hip pocket.

The ex-Demons senior assistant coach will lead the Tigers (1-5) against his former club (4-2) for the first time in Wednesday night’s Anzac Day eve blockbuster at the MCG.

After three seasons at the Demons, including the breakthrough 2021 premiership, some habits are dying hard.

“I’ve copped a bit of flak with the players. I think I’m up to about 200 bucks at the moment for calling (Melbourne) players by their nicknames,” Yze said. 

“But that’s been a little bit of fun, a bit of banter during the week.”

Melbourne counterpart Simon Goodwin and Yze haven’t exchanged pleasantries just yet.

“He’s been a great support for me, not only the last three years, but even the last three months so it’ll be good to see him after the game,” Yze said.

“But it’ll be on for young and old, obviously, during the game.”

Given Yze’s influence in building the Demons’ ball movement, they are wary of his inside knowledge.

“He would know us very well and we know him very well. So I don’t think there’s an advantage either way other than to say we have enormous respect for Adem,” Goodwin said.

“We know what he obviously did for us as a footy club and our coaching group, but also we’ve always respected what he does. 

“(For) Richmond, it’s obviously been a challenging time with injury, but when you watch Richmond play, you know one thing: they’re going to bring effort, they’re gonna bring intensity and they’re going to play the right way. 

“And you can see that even in their losses so far, they’ve challenged a lot of teams and they’ve beaten some teams up the top of the ladder so we’re gonna have to be right on our game.”

But Yze played down his own influence.

“To be fair, they’ve got a coach who was at this footy club last year as well in (Andrew) McQualter,” he said. 

“So it’s going to be quite interesting what happens. 

“We play a similar brand of footy. They play a terrific brand, they’re obviously a top-four team and someone that we’re trying to chase. 

“So yeah, I’ve got some knowledge around individuals and things like that and what their strengths are, but we’ve obviously got to be able to curtail that.”

He is also relishing the chance to be involved in the Anzac Day eve game from the other side.

“We know the privilege of playing and starting the weekend. And it’s just a great round of footy,” he said.

“It’s a finals-like atmosphere no matter where you are, where you sit on the ladder.

“We can’t wait to get started.”