‘Angry’ Deledio left frustrated with tough 2014

Brett Deledio5Richmond star Brett Deledio has opened up about a frustrating 2014 that he says left him angry and searching for answers.

Deledio injured his Achilles in the opening round of the season – a loss to Gold Coast – then battled through Richmond’s round two victory against Carlton before spending four weeks on the sidelines.

In that time, the Tigers lost three and won one with Deledio watching from the stands alongside fellow stars Ivan Maric and Alex Rance.

“I was angry, to be honest, when you’re losing and you can’t do anything,” Deledio told Richmond’s website.

“You’re asking questions [like] what’s going wrong and how can I help with not only myself sitting on the sidelines but Rancey and Ivan sitting there as well.

“I just felt so bad for Cotchy (skipper Trent Cotchin). He was getting absolutely mauled week in, week out by these taggers, and I couldn’t do a thing about it to help him apart from pat him on the back after the game.”

Deledio and Rance returned to Richmond’s side in round seven, but it would be weeks for the Tigers’ season gained any momentum.

“I really wasn’t able to be comfortable out there until about round 12 when I had a really good heart-to-heart with my old man and with Dimma (coach Damien Hardwick).

“From there I felt like I got my speed back in my game and felt comfortable and my workrate lifted and the results probably speak for themselves.”

An 11-point loss against the Sydney Swans at the MCG in round 14 saw the Tigers slump to 16th on the ladder with a 3-10 record.

That loss was to be Richmond’s last of the home and away season as the Tigers went on a nine-game winning streak, with Deledio playing an important role through the midfield and at half-forward.

It is a role the 27-year-old is hoping to reprise in 2015.

“Now I’ll probably play half-forward swapping with Dusty (Dustin Martin) and Shane Edwards and ‘Axel’ (Nathan) Foley,” he said.

“It feels really comfortable but I’ve still got to try to find a few more tricks for next year and work harder again to make sure I’m continually giving myself the best opportunity to win the ball.”

The Tigers return to training on January 5 as they prepare for season 2015 which kicks off with a NAB Challenge game against the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on February 28.