The Bombers implosion, a third gamer kicking seven goals, an epic Showdown and a seemingly endless array of Umpire contact tribunal cases meant there wasn’t much time to talk about St Kilda on the wrap up programs. When attention did turn towards Moorabbin this what was said.
With AFL360’s access to senior coach Alan Richardson, it was no surprise that the conversation eventually turned to the fortunes of the club. Richo took positives out of the teams second half performance, while at pains to acknowledge the fact that they had failed to fully capitalise on their opportunities. “No doubt after half-time it was a step in the right direction,” he told the panel.
Mark Robinson asked whether Richardson was any ‘greyer’ than he was when started as senior coach, expressing that watching the team kick for goal even stressed him out.
In reply Richardson spoke of the hurt Tim Membrey was feeling after his 1.5 night against the Dockers. Despite this he was effusive in his praise for the forwards efforts in “marking the ball, beating his man, getting split, bringing the ball to ground.” Likening him to a slips fielder who always wanted the ball to come to him, the coach was confident that with the work Membrey was putting in that results would turn his way.
In Overrated / Underrated the question was posed if Ben Dixon was overrated as a goal kicking coach? “Everybody should have a goal kicking coach,” Wayne Carey exclaimed as every member voted underrated. They did not remain unanimous however, with Brian Taylor changing his mind.“I’ve done this job and I got canned everywhere I’ve been, so Dicko you have to cop it to,” Taylor expressed to camera.
The Blowtorch was aimed at the Saints, prompted in large part by Scott Watters’ comments over the weekend on FootyWA. As a result the panel was left to ponder the question, ‘Should more pressure be put on the board at Moorabbin?’
The consensus seemed to be that the problems extended beyond anyone individual or group at the club. “The problem at St Kilda isn’t in the coaching, it is in the skill within the list. They just don’t bat deep enough and good enough in their list. To me, they just don’t have the artillery,” Brian Taylor suggested.
Campbell Brown suggested ‘the art’ of successful teams is a collective purpose from the CEO down. “So if you fail, you fail collectively as a group and everyone should take responsibility,” the 2008 Hawk Premiership player opinioned.
Like Taylor before him, Wayne Carey was dismissive of the list. “They just don’t have anybody at their club with the X Factor,” he said.
During the light hearted Say that again the panel were pretty amused by an interview with Dylan Roberton, in which he defined the injury he suffered pre-season as a ‘ruptured aggot’.
Gerard and the team didn’t have an awful lot of time for the men from Moorabbin with the first mention coming in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Unfortunately for Tim Membrey his night in front of goal against the Dockers was Gary Lyon’s nomination for The Ugly.
Tom Morris sought a quote from President Peter Summers in relation to the coaching position. Despite the President’s assurance that Richardson was ‘the right person to continue to lead the group forward,’ Morris wasn’t having it. “There is clearly pressure on the club, pressure on Rich and according to Scott Watters – pressure on the president also,” he shared through a wide grin.
It wasn’t just Tom Morris who sought Peter Summers for comment. The Footy Classified team reached out for a response to Scott Watters’ now infamous comments from his weekend appearance on FootyWA. The following statement was issued,
It was pleasing to hear Scott’s endorsement of Alan and we agree with his view. We believe he is the right person to continue to lead our group forward.
As a former coach of the club, Scott will know that the culture we have developed is that we are all in this together.
We expect a level of criticism given our current performance and don’t shy away from our collective responsibility as leaders of St Kilda to create a club our members are proud of.
“Why would he dignify a comment by a failed coach who was barely at the club,” a surprised Caroline Wilson asked the panel. Craig Hutchison explained that it was a response to a question they had asked before the conversation took a diversion.
The always earnest Matthew Lloyd inserted himself pointlessly into the conversation. Firstly, for a reason known only to himself, he suggested to Wilson that Watters was a ‘former’ rather than ‘failed’ coach. Then as if there had never been a struggling club before, he wondered how the Saints would ‘sell’ themselves to players and supporters.
There was speculation about the coaching position but Wilson wasn’t convinced that Richardson was in imminent danger but conceded any coach was in danger if the things imploded completely.
Drawing the conversation back to the angstful Lloyd’s concern, Chris Judd suggested that things weren’t as bleak as were being painted. The two-time Brownlow Medallist suggest that members would be appeased if the club replaced their recruiting staff and brought in a young star player in the draft. He suggested that he didn’t believe the list was bad but instead lacked for star power. A problem that an early pick in the draft could go a long way to solving.