Damien Hardwick leaves Richmond as one of the coaching greats — but it was so close to being a different story

With eight minutes left in the first half of the 2010 season opener, Richmond midfielder Daniel Jackson lined up to take a relatively easy shot at goal.

Coming off the back of his most consistent season after six years in the league, the then-70-gamer was one the few shining lights of a disastrous 2009, in a fixture that had seen the Tigers lose 16 matches and resulted in veteran coach Terry Wallace walking away from Punt Road.

Throughout it all, Jackson had been sturdy and reliable, the antonyms to what the club had mostly been in a year to forget.

He was the future — and 2009 was the…

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