Richmond are yet to open contract talks with Sydney Stack but the defender is “going really well” and pressing for a senior opportunity, according to his agent.
With the Tigers’ backline in tatters following injuries to Noah Balta, Nathan Broad and most recently Bachar Houli, the back-to-back reigning premiers – who find themselves outside the top eight heading into round 17 – will be needing reinforcements for their game next weekend against Collingwood.
Sydney Stack is pushing for selection, according to his agent.Credit:Getty Images
Richmond’s VFL side lost by 13 points to the Northern Bullants on Saturday but Stack, who hasn’t played at AFL level since his 10-match suspension for a hub breach on the Gold Coast last year, had 29 disposals in the clash at Preston City Oval.
The West Australian is out-of-contract at season’s end but there is no rush for a new deal. Instead the Tigers and Stack’s management decided to let things play out until late in the season after an off-season in which Stack found himself in jail in WA after breaking bio-security rules.
“No discussions around future contract at this point – that was planned [for] well in the back end of season just leave pressure off Syd and the club,” his manager Paul Peos of Inside 50 said on Sunday.
“He is more generally going really well, happy, fit and playing consistently good footy at VFL level and keen to get [an] opportunity to go up.”
Mid-season draftee Matt Parker had 31 disposals in the Tigers’ VFL defeat on Saturday as he pushes his claim for a first senior game at his second AFL club.
Triple-premiership Tiger Daniel Rioli was also prominent, finishing with 26 disposals. His cousin Maurice Rioli jnr kicked a brilliant four-bounce goal but was otherwise quiet, ending with six disposals.
Ben Miller, Rhyan Mansell, Thomson Dow (medical sub, who came on for Callum Coleman-Jones) and Samson Ryan were Richmond’s emergencies in their loss to Gold Coast on Thursday night.
Veteran Houli – whose season and career are in doubt following his syndesmosis injury in the Suns game at Marvel Stadium – put things in perspective on Instagram on Sunday alongside a photo of his bandaged leg. He referenced his mother Yamama’s fight with COVID-19 last year, an illness that left her in intensive care.
“I thank Allah most gracious most high for every blessing in life,” Houli wrote.
“Sitting with mum just before made me realise I have no reason to complain as this time last year we thought we would lose her. A continuous reminder we need as humans that there’s always someone else out there suffering more than me and you. Thank you to everyone that has offered their sincere care and support with my injury and looking forward to returning soon God willing (Inshallah).”
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