News 2021 St.Kilda Media Thread

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Diehard Saint

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 17, 2016
AFL Club
St Kilda
Why would you read anything about AFL in the media, if they themselves have no idea?
Who in the hell is Andrew Slevison

St Kilda v Melbourne
Saturday - Marvel Stadium

The Saints were as gritty as it gets against the Giants last week.

At one point late in the final term St Kilda looked gone but resurrected themselves to claim a courageous win in the wet on the road with a number of key players missing.

It was a superb start to the season for Alan Richardson’s men who will have Max King and Zak Jones back in the side to take on the Demons on Saturday night.

Simon Goodwin’s side did enough against an undermanned Fremantle to secure four points, but it came at a cost with James Harmes set to miss up to six weeks with a broken wrist. Former skipper Jack Viney could ease some of that pain by replacing Harmes.

The Saints owe the Dees for last year’s controversial defeat in Alice Springs and back under lights on their home deck at Marvel Stadium should be able to exact revenge.

St Kilda plays an irresistible brand under the roof and should prove too quick for the Demons who pride themselves more on winning the contested ball.

If the Saints can get things on their terms by shifting the ball around swiftly and providing their dangerous forwards with ample scoring opportunities, then they should see it through.

But not without a fight from the Demons who have plenty to prove against last year’s Semi-Finalists.

Tip: St Kilda by 17 points

Andrew Slevison ***
Andy ol’ mate, that’s a particularly bad error considering Richo’s actually now working at the club we’re playing!


All Australian
Sep 23, 2016
AFL Club
St Kilda

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triggering bro

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 30, 2017
AFL Club
St Kilda
"Spud’s Game: Brett Ratten on mental health and how Danny Frawley helped him

Brett Ratten has opened up about how Danny Frawley helped him after he was sacked as Carlton coach and why Spud’s Game means so much to St Kilda.
Glenn McFarlane

The importance of 'Spud's game'

AFL: The AFL 360 panel takes a deep dive into the origins of Spud's game, and why it's shaping up to be a very special event.

The spirit of ‘Spud’ lives on at Moorabbin in a visual sense with the huge image of the late, great Danny Frawley hugging his teammates adorning the club training rooms.

But St Kilda coach Brett Ratten says the club is also working hard to enshrine Frawley’s lessons from his life — as a player, coach, leader, mate, family member, and mental health advocate — into the playing group and staff 18 months after his death in September 2019.

“I think there is a bit of Spud every day in what we do,” Ratten told the Herald Sun.

“We have got in the locker room a big picture of him standing over the top and he has got Gilbert McAdam and a couple of other players he is hugging.

“That’s right at the top of the players’ walk. When you walk in, you get to see him every day.”

As the Saints prepare to take on Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night in the inaugural Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk, the message of having frank and open conversations about the welfare of loved ones and family members could hardly be any clearer.

“Life isn’t easy sometimes,” Ratten said.

“Everybody in their circle of friends and family know the ripple effect on people who have faced hard situations.”

“Sometimes they try to work it out themselves or keep to themselves. But the ability to have someone to talk to can be critical in allowing them to find the help and support they need.


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“It’s two-fold, really.

“We want people to come out and talk about their situation, which you have to have the courage to do. But it is also about knocking on the door of those who are struggling.

“You might knock on the door once or twice, and it might not be until the 10th time that they actually answer and say ‘I’m actually not going that well’.

“That’s the start of being able to really help people.”

That message of connection and engagement is one Ratten understands more than most.

His son, Cooper, was killed in a car accident in 2015, aged only 16, in the most devastating blow imaginable for a loving father.

The power of the football community rallied around the Ratten family, and somehow they were able to find a way through the darkness and the grief.

“When you go through something like that, you see how far and wide the football circle goes and what people are prepared to do for you, even those from other clubs,” Ratten recalled.

“I was so appreciative of that, just the acknowledgment of that.”

As St Kilda coach, he now goes out of his way to inquire about the welfare of his players and staff, especially those who have encountered hardship or loss.

“Even now, I say to people, ‘I am going to say something that might be hard to you, but how are you travelling?’ after they have lost a family member,” Ratten said.

“If there has been a hard situation in their lives, I will address it straight away.

“I would rather let them know we care than not say anything. Sometimes people avoid (tough questions) as it brings up raw emotions, but you have to ask ‘how are you going?”

That’s the theme of Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk, to encourage greater conversations for those encountering challenges or mental health issues.

St Kilda will also open the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing (Powered by AIA Australia), at Moorabbin in December.

It will provide a facility for players, past players, school groups and the wider community designed to assist in health and wellbeing, with AIA Australia coming on as the principal support partner for the Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk.

Ratten has a personal link to what Frawley could do in a positive sense for those encountering hardship or suffering.

When he was controversially sacked as Carlton coach in late 2012, one of the first calls Ratten received as he dealt was from Frawley, then chief executive of the AFL Coaches’ Association.

To this day, Ratten sees it as an important moment in his coaching evolution, from a personal and professional sense.

“I’ll never forget what he did to support me when I got the flick (as Blues coach),” Ratten said.

“When you get sacked, you lose confidence in yourself and he was there for me and gave me advice. He was just someone to talk to.

“It was just nice knowing that he had been through it as well (being sacked by Richmond as coach in 2004), and he was reaching out to me and making sure I was OK.

“I thought he went over and beyond what he had to do (as CEO of the AFL Coaches Association). To check in and make sure I was OK was something I really appreciated.

“When you are sacked, you haven’t got a footy club and you don’t know what’s the next part of your journey. There is a void. I had some close friends help me, but outside that circle, it was people like Danny from within the AFL industry who made a real difference for me.”

The Saints appointed former Kangaroos player and psychologist Ben Robbins as the club’s head of mental health and wellbeing within the sports department in 2020.

That has been part of a significant shift in the football programs in bringing a renewed focus on the mental aspect of the game, particularly the individual wellbeing of the players.

Ratten, Robbins and head of the Saints football program David Rath introduced “anti-fragility sessions” where the players and staff are encouraged to have open, honest discussions about the importance of vulnerability in individual and group chats..

It relates to players and staff talking about life experiences that may have changed them mentally and emotionally, and asks them to reflect on their life experiences.

The aim of these sessions - which started before the pandemic in early 2020 and have become even more important during and after the hub experience - is to understand the strengths of those within the group, to show how individuals can grow from adversity, and to put things into perspective.

Ratten has been blown away by how the players have responded to the change.

“Rathy and Ben have done a tremendous job with our players around those themes,” Ratten said.

“The players have felt comfortable quicker than I thought they would … The plus for us is that we got traction early because people were prepared to be vulnerable and prepared to speak about themselves.

“It really gave us an insight into their stories.

“It gave us a better understanding and greater empathy for that person. Some of the (stories) were away from footy; some of them were involved with footy.

“It actually doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are having the conversation.”

Ratten said the AFL industry can consume people in the race for a premiership, but clubs owed it to their employees to keep an eye on individuals’ mental and physical welfare.

“This is a stressful game to be a part of, it’s a performance-based industry and with the pressure to perform, there is anxiety,” he said.

“But first and foremost, the most important thing to remember is that it is about the people.

“The game, as much as we love it, is secondary to that.

“Sometimes even through our genes, some people can absorb pressure more than others.

“This is not a one-glove-fits-all thing. It is about making sure the people around you are right and that they are travelling OK.”

He sees this as much about character development as football development.

Ratten loves the fact players are more willing to express their feelings now.

He encourages that from his players, evidenced by his acceptance of Paddy Ryder taking a break from his game to reconnect better with his family and his elders.

“The situation we have all gone through over the past year or so has been difficult for some,” he said. “We need to be mindful of that.”

“He missed his family and his elders.

“If people have some things in their life where they have got an imbalance and need support, we are there to help them.

“I think we have to allow everyone that flexibility. That’s not just for the players, that’s for the coaches and the staff.

“There are new challenges with (the football department) soft cap and the workload for our staff. People are doing more for probably less.

“So we need to make sure we are doing the right thing for all the people at our football club.”

Ratten sees the bigger picture of Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk and wants to help broaden the conversation.

Through his own experiences, he has seen the benefits of that.

“It’s like anything in society, it’s becoming quite normal for the youth of today to talk about their experiences and feelings. We need more of that.”

He’s convinced improved mental welfare can also bring about greater results on the field.

Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk is a groundbreaking new initiative designed to tackle mental health issues within the community through a special tribute match in Round 2, established in honour of the late Danny Frawley.

Funds raised go towards supporting research-based mental health programs at the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing (Powered by AIA Australia) and Movember’s Ahead of the Game program.

Donations can be made at Special edition Spud’s Game caps and tees are also available for purchase via

For crisis support, please contact Lifeline at or 13 11 14, and Beyond Blue at and 1300 22 4636

Rebecca Williams

Anita Frawley has revealed she had no idea her late husband Danny was suffering with his mental health in silence until he experienced a breakdown.

Speaking ahead of the inaugural ‘Spud’s Game’ between St Kilda and Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, Anita said she had noticed only “subtle changes” with his mood but had “no idea” how much he had been suffering as he concealed his mental health battles.

“There were just subtle changes and his mood changes that he kind of couldn’t recognise,” Anita said on SEN.

“But Danny was slightly different because when he had his breakdown it was a complete breakdown, there was no sleep or whatever, but neither one of us really knew what was kind of going on.

“Whereas I think now with education and what we are doing and speaking about it a lot more publicly, I think that will slightly change.

“But I had no idea, I just didn’t know that he was suffering or what was going on. You sit there in your marriage and try to protect everything, so he obviously hid it for a while, but then he had this complete breakdown.

“The thing that we do need to recognise is that with the right help, with medication, with seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist or whoever, you can turn it around. You just have to keep up with that, don’t think that you need to stay on it and you don’t need to keep seeking guidance through all this.

“It was crucial for Danny and he was really good, as I’ve discussed before, but then he did make that choice to go off his meds.”
Danny Frawley’s wife Anita (back, centre) with St Kilda legends Robert Harvey and Stewart Loewe and daughters Chelsea (left) and Danielle (right). Picture: Corey Scicluna
Danny Frawley’s wife Anita (back, centre) with St Kilda legends Robert Harvey and Stewart Loewe and daughters Chelsea (left) and Danielle (right). Picture: Corey Scicluna

The match being played in the late St Kilda captain’s honour aims to raise awareness about the importance of the conversation around mental health with the message “Time to Talk”.

Anita said her family’s loss was still very “raw” 18 months after Danny Frawley’s passing, but they had not wanted to wait to push the discussion around mental health.

“It’s not easy for me, but I do think it’s just so important to keep his legacy going,” Frawley said.

“It has been (raw) for the girls and I for the last couple of weeks, but if we wait another year what is the cost behind that?

“It’s very real to us and we’re just very passionate about it and I think when you have been through trauma like we have been through, it’s something to make sense of it and for us — and for my beautiful girls — we think this is it. We want to help others, we want to make a difference and we want to make change.

“We do not want to see anyone go through what we have been through and still going through.”
Anita Frawley is speaking out to encourage men to speak to their mates about mental health. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Tim Carrafa
Anita Frawley is speaking out to encourage men to speak to their mates about mental health. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Tim Carrafa

Anita said Frawley’s legacy and promoting the discussion around mental health had become her focus in life, but it was not easy.

“It has for the moment, I’m not sure how long I can keep being the front person, it’s not something I’m comfortable (with), but I just know how important it is,” she said.

“Beyond this (game), it will be my focus, probably more behind the scenes I will be involved very heavily in what we are doing at the Danny Frawley Centre and also with what we are doing in CTE as well.

“It will be my life focus, there is no doubt, but I’m not sure I can publicly keep doing what I am doing. Probably because it is still so raw and emotional.”

Anita said the “Time to Talk” message was critical for getting people to open up and share how they were feeling with others.

“It’s being vulnerable, it’s OK to come out and talk about it,” Anita said.

“I have been listening to his (Frawley’s) podcast this week as well and going back through that journey and I still think one of the most simple (messages) — and it’s just iconic Danny — was ‘Look over the gate to your mate’. It’s just a simple thing — and talk.

“I think the fear, too, on the other side is if you’re being the one that is spoken to is how do you react to that, well it’s also to listen, to listen to what they’re saying. We don’t know all the answers and as non-medical professionals we don’t, but we can listen, we can give some advice and we can point them in the right direction to get more help.”
More Coverage
Danielle Frawley opens up on Dad’s fitting tribute Frawley inquest prompts calls for players to donate brains

Anita said she expected Saturday night’s game to be “emotional”, but thanked the football community for getting behind the match and its message."


All Australian
Apr 18, 2013
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
South east Melb. PHOENIX
He's pretty kinda lovable persona isn't he. I can imagine wanting to perform for him that's a certainty, When he first came just wasnt sure but others were and that was encouraging but there's no doubt at this stage ...Love him now!!!


Brownlow Medallist
Oct 2, 2010
AFL Club
St Kilda

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Mark of the Year contender
May 27, 2018
The Goal Square
AFL Club
St Kilda
Wide World of Sports: Bradley Hill 'most overpaid player in the game', Kane Cornes says after St Kilda hiding.

Hard to disagree after yesterday's performance. He wasn't alone though. Lots of Saints players whose hands should be trembling when they pick up their paycheck this week.

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