“We have had injuries but the guys have come back. It has been a challenge.
“We are interested in the trip in our soccer club. We have had an incredible journey for the last four or five years, but we are still looking forward to the journey that lies ahead. “
Hardwick said injuries explain part of his team’s decline, but not the whole story.
“That’s part of it, we would still like to play a little better,” he said.
Mabior Chol played Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle.
The 31-year-old Cotchin finished with just 13 eliminations against the Feet and Hardwick acknowledged that the modern game presented challenges to the Tigers captain.
“I’d love to handle it, to be honest,” he said.
“It is a battering ram. He has played like this for 15 years at the highest level. The game has changed, of that there is no doubt. They are more indisputable brands, we are seeing a lot of them right now.
“There are not many stops, contest-type things that are his strengths.
“In a way we’ve talked about moving to a different position, but we need it to play in midfield right now.”
But Hardwick said Cotchin’s ability to guide young men like Thomson Dow and Riley Collier-Dawkins was invaluable.
“People look at the stat sheet, but what Trent brings in can’t be measured.”
Pies interim coach Robert Harvey said he was glad his players had been rewarded for their efforts.
“[I’m] pretty happy, it’s a good result, “said Harvey.
“They work very hard. To finish as they did, it was a great effort for the boys to get to the top ”.
Young and tall Will Kelly (quadruple) was substituted from the game and is likely to miss a few weeks.
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