Richmond Head of Football Neil Balme says the club are very wary of the media potentially taking advantage of first-year forward Jack Higgins.
Higgins has introduced an infectious energy in his debut season for both the Tigers and the AFL in general with his lively and entertaining media interviews, which showcase his enthusiasm.
The top-end draft pick penned a two-year contract extension after an influential start to his career at the Tigers. While the club wants simply for the teenager to go along just being himself, Balme is somewhat cautious of not exploiting Higgins with too many media commitments.
“A couple of his teammates keep saying: ‘are you ok with this? Be careful of what you do’. That’s the best control you can have,” Balme told SEN Mornings.
“We have to protect him because he’s such an easy mark for TV and radio because they think: ‘oh this bloke will say something’.
“Which is fine, but we just have to control it a little bit so he’s not seen to be as soon as we want someone to say something stupid we’ll go and talk to him. We have to be a little bit careful of that.
“He’s bright enough to work that out. He’s happy to be seen that way, but we do protect him a little bit.”
Balme revealed the club held off on the announcement of Higgins’ re-signing, as he was already getting loads of media attention in that time frame.
“We’re really pleased that he’s re-signed,” he said.
“He signed a little while ago, but we didn’t make it a big thing because he was getting so much press.
“We’re really pleased to have him.”
Last season’s Morris Medallist had booted 11 goals from his 11 games, collecting a career-high 25 disposals in last week’s win over the Crows.
Richmond will be in action against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night at Spotless Stadium.