The unusual experience of watching an AFL finals series from his couch has "reignited the fire" in Trent Cotchin before his 15th season at Richmond.
The Tigers' triple-premiership captain announced he would stand down from the leadership role in September, around the same time he witnessed Melbourne storm to a drought-breaking flag.
Cotchin went through the same experience in 2017 as the Tigers broke through for the first of three premierships in four years, before sliding to 12th last season.
"Watching finals this year was weird because I'm not a huge watcher of footy, but the finals series definitely was something that I tuned into," Cotchin said before returning to pre-season training at Punt Road on Monday.
"For me personally, the fire in the belly really reignited through that time and kick-started my off-season in a really positive way.
"Our young guys have been at it and really going great guns, so I'm really excited about what the pre-season is going to bring and also leading into round one next year."
Richmond struggled to cope with the weight of injuries last season, winning just two of their last 10 matches.
The poor run of results came as premiership stars Dustin Martin, Dion Prestia, Nick Vlastuin, Bachar Houli, Kane Lambert, Noah Balta and David Astbury all missed significant chunks of football.
But Cotchin is adamant the Tigers can get fit and fire again next year.
"If we reflect truly on last season, we probably weren't up to the standard," Cotchin said.
"If you look at the teams that ended up playing in the grand final, the quality of footy that they played throughout the whole season was brilliant.
"That's the level that we want to get back to."
Cotchin was Richmond's longest-serving captain but doesn't expect to have a huge say in who his successor will be.
The playing group will have some input via a vote early next year with Martin, Vlastuin, Jack Riewoldt, Dylan Grimes and Jack Graham all in the mix.
The handover will free Cotchin up to focus more on himself for the first time in a decade.
"I'm really excited about what it looks like for me personally, but also what it looks like for the footy club," he said.
"There's going to be someone else who takes up that role, or maybe a few people, I'm not sure exactly what path we'll take.
"But they'll have amazing support, whoever that might be, within the playing group but also across the football club."
On behalf of the club, Cotchin on Monday handed over a cheque for $212,093 to Richmond's charity partner the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
Australian Associated Press