Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick sets record straight with ugly truth bomb on Noah Balta’s text message

Master coach Damien Hardwick has a message for his old club, Richmond.

Well, not exactly the club, but one player in particular … and that is the Tigers’ popular swingman, Noah Balta.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Noah Balta cops roast from Dimma.

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Gold Coast are set to take on Hardwick’s former club in what promises to be an enthralling Opening Round encounter at Gold Coast’s the Suns’ home ground on Saturday afternoon.

Hardwick shocked the AFL world last year when he walked out on Richmond and was announced as Gold Coast’s new coach a few months later.

But, according to Dimma, his relationship with the team that he took to three premierships between 2017 and 2020 is still relatively healthy.

Trent Cotchin and Damien Hardwick with Richmond’s premiership cup in 2020. Credit: Getty Images

Appearing on Channel 7’s The Front Bar, Hardwick was asked if he remained in touch with his former players … and if the bond would ever be broken.

“I have, obviously (kept in contact) … some messages have come back and forward and we work through that at various stages … a bit of banter,” Hardwick responded to Front Bar co-host Sam Pang’s inquiry.

“This week’s been a little bit quiet … in the lead-up to the game, and I’ll probably say it’ll be same after the game.

“Then we’ll sit down and throw a few barbs across the line.

“But I’ve kept in touch with quite a few of the lads.”

Pang then cheekily suggested that Balta was one of the players who had stayed in touch with Hardwick … or rather, had at least tried.

He then showed Hardwick a clip of Balta during a media conference where the 2020 premiership player was asked if he had spoken to his old coach since his departure.

“Not really,” was Balta’s answer.

But added: “I’ve sent him a couple of messages but he hasn’t responded, though … I think he might be off me.

“I’m not going to pretend that he responded, but he hasn’t.”

While Hardwick could see the funny side, he also decided to fill in the missing pieces of their text messages.

Hardwick shook his head in disbelief before laying bare the ugly details of the full exchange.

“Is there anything you’d like to say to him here and now on the program? He’ll be watching” Front Bar co-host Mick Molloy asked Hardwick.

“In my defence, Noah,” Hardwick began. “Funnily enough, I did remember receiving that message, but then I looked at the message above that one, and I remember ringing him.

“And he sent me back a text (saying), ‘Dimma, I’m just taking a sh** on the toilet, I’ll give you a callback soon’.

“One: who is answering their phone on the toilet? And why is sending me that?”

When Hardwick left Richmond, he said he had “cooked the sausages a thousand ways” and could not cook them anymore.

He also said when taking on the Gold Coast job that he was waking up to “a brand new set of toys”.

As the new season begins, many experts are expecting Gold Coast to be ‘the bolter’ of 2024.

While 7NEWS star AFL reporters Mitch Cleary and Ryan Daniels have predicted the Tigers to slide even further down the ladder after finishing 13th last year.

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