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Senior coach relationships stronger than ever

Senior AFL coaches have always understood each others battles and challenges. It is perhaps one of the key reasons for the introduction of the AFL Coaches Association in 2002.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says he speaks with other senior coaches, including Alastair Clarkson who he spent time learning from as an assistant.

Hardwick recently received a call from Nathan Buckley too.

‘We lean on each other a lot more than we used to, I think we’ve become closer in that regard,’ Hardwick said.

The AFLCA, headed by Mark Brayshaw, is clearly doing its job well in supporting and connecting AFL senior and assistant coaches.

Leigh Matthews won four premierships as a senior coach and knows all too well about its challenges.

‘It’s a lonely position being senior coach,’ said Matthews on Sports Today.

‘Sometimes the other senior coaches can understand the loneliness of the position.’

Matthews however didn’t pick up the phone during his time.

‘No I can’t say I spoke to many other coaches during my tenures.’

Richmond face the Hawks tomorrow night at the MCG, where Hardwick is quite unlikely to invite Alastair Clarkson for a friendly chat beforehand.

‘We (AFL coaches) have become closer… But that’s not to say I don’t want to kill Clarko this weekend!’

Click PLAY to hear Leigh Matthews on Sports Today