New Tigers coach sets sights on top-four finish

New coach Adem Yze is already daring to dream of steering Richmond straight back into the AFL top four, as the Tigers admit they were "unrecognisable" at times this season.

And the new mentor plans for superstar Dustin Martin to be front and centre of the Richmond renaissance.

Yze celebrated his 46th birthday on Thursday with the news he had won the job ahead of caretaker Andrew McQualter to become Damien Hardwick's full-time replacement.

The Tigers finished 13th this season and are in transition following the retirement of club greats Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt.

But on the same day first-year coach Adam Kingsley leads Greater Western Sydney in a once-unlikely preliminary final, Yze could not help eyeing a similar turnaround at Punt Road.

"We're not going to put a ceiling on where we could finish," Yze said on Friday.

"I get huge upside on watching what other teams have done.

"GWS have gone from the bottom half of the ladder to playing in a prelim tonight.

"Not to say that's what we're going to do but that's what we're going to strive to do.

"I want our players walking into the footy club thinking that they can make the top four next year, but we won't put a ceiling on it."

Chief executive Brendon Gale said the introduction of a fresh voice was a factor in the decision to appoint Yze.

"Clearly there was an appetite for some change," Gale said.

"At times early in the year we were unrecognisable and Damien acknowledged that.

"Andrew did a wonderful job getting us back on track playing a sustainable brand of footy.

"We can play a whole lot better, and we will play a whole lot better. We won't put a ceiling on what better looks like."

Martin, 32, will remain at Richmond for at least the next year rather than joining Hardwick at Gold Coast.

"I can't wait to work with him," Yze said.

"He's an amazing player, amazing person, an amazing Richmond man.

"To be at the footy club when he plays his 300th game's going to be an amazing opportunity for me.

"He had a terrific season last year and I can see not only the next year, I can see a fair few solid years out of Dusty.

"I'm hoping I can just help deliver that with a nice clear role for him and (he can) have some impact on games like he normally does."

Yze never doubted he could coach, but admitted he had started to "second-guess" whether he should keep applying for roles.

He was second choice for the Adelaide job which Matthew Nicks won in 2019, narrowly missed out to Kingsley for the GWS senior coaching role last year and was beaten to the Essendon hot-seat by Brad Scott.

The new Tigers mentor played 271 games for Melbourne before starting his coaching career at Hawthorn in 2012, working under Alastair Clarkson during the Hawks' 2013-15 flag three-peat.

He returned to Melbourne as an assistant in 2021 under Simon Goodwin and helped the Demons snap their 57-year premiership drought.

Triple-premiership coach Hardwick quit Richmond in May after 13-and-a-half seasons, with stand-in McQualter leading the Tigers to seven wins from 13 games.

He is expected to leave Punt Rd to further his coaching career.