Richmond running defender Reece Conca said the Tigers’ perfect start to the season has brought back a positive vibe to the club.
The Tigers are 4-0 for the first time since 1995 after thrashing Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday.
Conca, who was on the Border for a fans day with teammate David Astbury at Lavington Square on Tuesday, said while it’s tough to pinpoint anything specifically, a few changes to the game plan, the introduction of some new assistant coaches and a change to the leadership program has done wonders.
“We’ve built some really good confidence over the pre-season and sort of rode that into the year,” Conca said.
“We’re sticking to the game plan and performing like we need to do to get the wins.”
New recruits Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Toby Nankervis have made Richmond home this season and had an immediate impact.
“They’ve been outstanding since they’ve come in, they’re (Prestia and Caddy) both very experienced players and big Nank (Nankervis) in the ruck has been massive coming from Sydney,” Conca said.
“Even off the field, they all bring their own personalities and different leadership traits, so they’ve been very valuable to the turnaround.”
However, the form of small forwards Jason Castagna, Daniel Rioli and Dan Butler cannot be denied.
“They’ve been a revelation,” Conca said.
“They’ve just all found their little niche and their forward pressure and tacking has been outstanding.
“They’re all kicking goals as well which is really important for us and has taken some pressure off the forward line, especially Jack (Riewoldt) to be kicking those big bags every week.
“We’ve been really thriving off the forward pressure and it helps us down back as well once they transition the ball, so it has been huge.”
Conca admitted it has been nice to be healthy and get a full pre-season under his belt, which has allowed him to contribute to the team in ways he hasn’t been able to in the last few years.
Astbury echoed those sentiments.
“Now that I’m established at the footy club, I’m not so fussed about my own performance, it’s just good to be able to keep rolling on with some wins,” Astbury said.
“We haven’t won four on the trot since 1995, so it’s a really good milestone for the footy club and it’s an exciting place to be at the moment.”
Astbury was blown away by the Border support for the Tigers, with hundreds of local fans taking the chance to meet the pair.
“It’s been amazing,” he said.
“We know we’ve got a really strong bloodline of supporters, particularly in areas like this, so it’s just great to come and mix with them.”