Opinion Reasons to be Cheerful (Part Three)

Drake Huggins

Club Legend
May 2, 2018
2,123
8,504
The ghost of the G.G. Huggins Stand
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
Stoke City, Southampton.
*Long Post Warning!



I missed the conflagration on here Saturday night. Probably a good thing, as I generally misbehave during a good old scrap, so I probably saved myself a little holiday from the forum. I did watch the game in full, albeit on TV. I stayed strangely tranquil, right until the end, when I simply got off the chair and turned the nightmare off. My darling commented on how well I was taking another final quarter capitulation. I didn't bother replying. I retreated to the computer and did what I normally do. Write. Not too well, as some on here remind me from time to time, but the process is incredibly cathartic. I think it's half the reason so many of us come on here.



What it demonstrates to me is there is still so much passion and care for this club. If everyone were ECO, Saturday night would not have happened. It's like when you have a nasty argument with those you love deeply, being kids and spouses/partners. Regrettable things are said in the heat of the moment, which upon reflection were neither meant, nor designed to hurt on an ongoing basis. "To err is human, to forgive is divine."(Bingle 2014)



Everyone on this forum has forgiven the St.Kilda Football Club more times than is generally regarded as healthy. We come back every year, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Every year he ends up on his back, smothered in failure and disappointment. No one can challenge our loyalty, patience, and resilience. And yes, we deserve way better than what has been dished up in the past seven years. I do think, however, that we are again at a crossroads that we've come to many times before. The difference between now and the past? The lessons of the past have hopefully been learned. Like an addict that keeps relapsing, the club is running out of chances with its supporters, but for some visceral feeling, I believe this Board and the club will get it right. Call it a gut feeling, and I can assure you I have a very impressive gut! Maybe not premiership-right, but 2003-2011 right. The chance to be proud to publicly announce your support, the optimism of going to every game with a genuine shot, the thrill of finals and the hope that brings.



I remember talking to Bevo after the 2007 season. I asked him if the thrilling roller coaster '03-'06 was over. Arguably, we had assembled the best list in St.Kilda's history, only to be denied by rotten luck, bad bounces, injuries, etc. Another series of missed opportunities. So cyclical. The good times never last long at Moorabbin. I had heard similar things from supporters then that I'm hearing now. Poor, incompetent administration, hired the wrong coach (RTB), playing list devastated by injury, aging champs had retired or were in their twilight. Some of the younger ones hadn't come on etc. While I acknowledge this situation is different, it is interesting the responses from outsiders, the media included, is entirely predictable and consistent where failure is concerned. It's almost comforting bizarrely because even "experts" in the media are usually wrong about teams on the rise. They just sprout their groupthink and hackneyed cliches and pick up the cheque. Most of us on here have been saints' supporters for many years. I chalked up my 50th year this year and more than 25 years as a member. Many of you have been at it longer. We've seen it all. And then some.



So, onto the reasons, I feel cheerful (apart from alcohol and medication). Firstly, our administration appears more stable and competent than it has since the early '70s. Bassat looks the goods, so far, and the Board appears united. While I have been critical of Finnis for his focus on social issues rather than football matters, overall, he is a big improvement on his predecessors, Archie Bargie and Nettlefool. I had direct dealings with both and came away thinking about how the Board could've got these appointments so wrong. Up there with Plympton giving Timid the coaching job on a whim. I now we should compare ourselves with the best, not the worst, but Finnis has some decent achievements in his CV. The return to Moorabbin being the most critical in terms of our long term future. The best chief since Waldo, who despite some very human failings, was a very sharp operator. Throw in the potential of expansion into China and the sponsorship opportunities already generated, the entry of a women's team (a huge untapped market) and the campaign to capture the Bayside and we're looking good. Now just get cracking on reducing that debt, Matt! Hold.



The acquisition of Satan Lethlean has been a masterstroke. A gem, straight from the bargain bin, where he'd been dumped for non-football related issues. He has conducted a thorough overhaul of all aspects of football operations, with just a bit of further tweaking to come. He should have all in place by the start of next season. In any event, we have a logical and proven successor for the CEO job if Finnis vacates. Satan was always destined to be a CEO in clubland at least. While the top job at the Death Star is probably out of reach because of past indiscretions, I doubt we'd have found better in the open market.



His appointments have strengthened us in critical areas. Gubby Allan will prove his value in the trade period. His IP and network will be priceless, this year and next, when GWS will have to have a major salary cap dump. The elite midfielder we need? "Gags" Gallagher is the interesting one. It is hard to measure his worth from the outside, but it appears we now have lots of cap space and have planned to have plenty left for next year as well. Needless to say, the next two drafts/trade periods will determine our future and we'll have to wait to judge him on those outcomes. To take advantage, we have to create the conditions for success. This year will indicate how attractive we will be to FAs in the future. Money appears to be no problem. What is undeniable is that he has relevant experience in football and business and has been successful in his other pursuits. A big upgrade on his predecessor. Hold.



That brings me to recruiting. The "work experience kid" I first met in Libba, was impressive then and I can only conclude he's improved in the eight years since then. Our drafting and trading of players has been good since he took over the reins three years ago. The fruits of the last the drafts are showing signs of bearing results. Add Gresh from 2015 and we have a core that includes Battle, Clark, Coffield, Winx, Bytel, Wilkie, Marshall, Steele and Hind, all of whom can become A graders. Added to Billings, Membrey, Bruce (do not trade!), Hanners, Paton, Webster and hopefully the return of Robbo and we are a few acquisitions away from being a genuine threat again. If Stuv stays and regains his fitness and health, we could look formidable.



Speaking of which, I've never been as optimistic about a trade period as this one. While some of the major targets have already been taken off the table, we are right in the race for the best of the rest. Hill sounds a certainty. Tomlinson, despite what some on here think, will improve the list. His acquisition helps cultivate the notion of a destination club and he might even help to get us one of his elite mates from GWS in the future.



Bing is the big one. Get him. It's about more than just on-field worth. He will be an A grader, just like his brother, given a decent run of luck with injuries, of that I'm certain. The acquisition will create a buzz around the club not seen since we got Roo and Kosi in 2000. I've never seen Bevo as excited as he was at the time, and it takes a bit to fire him up. He said we would build multiple premiership teams around them. At the time, having seen them both play before the draft, I had to agree. Again, we came agonizingly close. These two will be the faces of the club for a decade, get young kids onboard the way Roo did and ensure our marketing department will have plenty to work with. Let's do a Hawthorn. Whatever it takes. Jones, Ryder, Ah Chee, Martin, and even Harley Bennell would be Moneyball type bargains. Fill needs and could turn into masterstrokes.



Then there is the question of the coach. I have it on very good authority Ratts is over the line. For the first time since Tony Jewell, we have an experienced and proven senior coach. His impact on the club has undeniable. The players support him, so important in any transition. Our first two performances under him showed what potential this list has. We even spanked everyone's current darling, the WBs. His passion, enthusiasm, IP and ability to communicate are outstanding. Compare and contrast his last presser with Richo's efforts. After all the goodwill and positivity, he got down to the brutal truths about what we needed to do to be a top side. Not just competitive. What a breath of fresh air! He spoke like the coach, not a mere candidate. Hopefully, his words will be translated into a massive, and long-overdue improvement in player development.



I wrote earlier this year about Ratten's appointment being the "Clayton's Sacking" of Richo. A superb example of Satan's power and ability to manipulate a terrible situation into a plus. Lumbered with a lame-duck coach for two years, he brought in an obvious successor so that when the obvious became too hard to ignore, a smooth transition was assured, with minimal damage to all parties concerned. How very un-St. Kilda it all was. (If Ratts hasn't got it, I'm going to look like a right duffer, aren't I?)



We are surely due for a change in luck on the injury front. We had an average of 13 players out. Every week! By far the worst of any side in the AFL. Those who missed the season or the majority of it were Roberton, McCartin, Geary, Steven, Longer, Pierce, Carlisle, Webster, Winx, Bytel, with Lonie, Kent, Clavarino and Armitage having their seasons badly interrupted. It is a tribute to the team that it won nine games, given these constraints. Before people tell me injuries are no excuse, I agree, but they are a reason for less than optimal performance. Just look at Richmond without their big four. Seven & six. With three of the big four back in they haven't lost. Even without Cotchin on occasion. If Dusty went down I doubt they'd win the flag. If we can have even just an average run on the injury front, finals are right on the cards.



The galling thing about our injury count was so many of them were not preventable and were just bad luck. A heart condition, depression, concussions, knees, broken bones, backs that required surgery, etc. Good grief! We must have kicked a Chinaman, walked under a ladder near a black cat while smashing a mirror! No blame for our sport science and physical conditioning crews, which are widely acknowledged as amongst the best in the industry.



Finally, back to us, the members and supporters. It's a miracle of sorts that we recorded our second-largest membership tally this year coming off the disaster of 2018. Admittedly, another year like that would do significant damage, but the foundation membership is around 38-40K with the "swinging voters" and newbies the ones we need to target. Old fools like me will always sign up. Plenty of you are like me. As a parent for a child that keeps stuffing up, I will continue to forgive. To me, it feels like 2002 felt internally. Not quite there yet, but worth waiting for next year. For once I can see the club pouring fertilizer on the green shoots, not weed killer. Let's face it. We're all in. May as well see it through.



Go Saints!!
 

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Drake Huggins

Club Legend
May 2, 2018
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Not a worry in the world if we play like we did in Ratts' first two games in charge.

Every worry if we play like the others.
Agreed TP. The first two were due in part to the "New coach-honeymoon" period. The shackles had been released, we played with flair and took risks. We pulled it off as well, against a high-quality opponent, being the WBs. Not as good against the Dees, but still a massive step forward from the stodge served up under Richo. Then, like a couple upon returning from the honeymoon, which was all sex and fun, the realities of everyday life set in again. Motivation dwindles, old habits re-emerge, effort drops, even if only subconsciously.

In the last game, they looked ragged, tired and frustrated. The end comes at just the right time. The next team to pull on the jumper in 2020, will have as many as eight new players, either brought in or back from injury. This injection will have the same effect as the new boys who came in at the start of this year. Remember how good we looked in the first five rounds? I suspected it wasn't sustainable as further injuries gripped. We regressed. In every sense. With fresh talent and a reset by the coach and his assistants, I can see us being consistently dangerous.

One last request. Get Roo involved in some official capacity at the club. He helped create an era of success and pride. We need him to do it again, albeit from the sidelines. His influence and effect cannot be underestimated. Do it, Satan! And no pi**ing around for 40 days with the temptation in the desert. You know he's the Messiah.
 

Saintbloke

Club Legend
Apr 26, 2015
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Still holes everywhere to be fixed before we take a step up. Once we get the coach thing sorted, then the trades, draft etc will be highly important and of course a preseason under the new coach where we hope a more cohesive playing style is introduced. Following that we go on to win the premiership. All this can be done with careful planning.
 

Diehard Saint

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Jan 17, 2016
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My assessment of Roo is that he doesn't want to. From everything he's said since he doesn't miss being in a footy club, because he associates with all the stress and anxiety he felt during his playing days.

To put it another way, I think resting bitch face is permanently retired.
I think he said he’s too close to it still to come back in any capacity right now.
Probably does need a break. My worry is that he’s becoming very involved with the preparation for a new Tassie team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him step up at board level there.
 

Drake Huggins

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May 2, 2018
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I think he said he’s too close to it still to come back in any capacity right now.
Probably does need a break. My worry is that he’s becoming very involved with the preparation for a new Tassie team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him step up at board level there.
His anxiety levels while playing were through the roof. He's talked about it in the media in some detail. Maybe a cushy media position and several months in Texas each year must look pretty good next to the trench warfare of AFL clubland! Still, the romance of bringing that elusive second flag to the saints that he so narrowly missed twice would be the lure I'd use. When reason and logic can't get the job done, always use emotion and fear (in this case FOMO)
 

CursingFijian

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I love telling anybody who asks I'm a Saints supporter. I get a kick out of letting them know that my love for my club is unconnected to success, it is simply a truth that should not be denied. The true worth of any supporter is found in their ability to find hope during the grim times, and it's a big part of why so many of us are gracious when the team is winning. We aren't poorer for being St Kilda supporters. Au contraire, we are a richer, more appreciative and certainly more resilient bunch because of it.
 

Drake Huggins

Club Legend
May 2, 2018
2,123
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The ghost of the G.G. Huggins Stand
AFL Club
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Stoke City, Southampton.
I love telling anybody who asks I'm a Saints supporter. I get a kick out of letting them know that my love for my club is unconnected to success, it is simply a truth that should not be denied. The true worth of any supporter is found in their ability to find hope during the grim times, and it's a big part of why so many of us are gracious when the team is winning. We aren't poorer for being St Kilda supporters. Au contraire, we are a richer, more appreciative and certainly more resilient bunch because of it.
Every so often, you read a post on this forum that makes you wish you'd written it. Bravo!
 
Last edited:

George

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Aug 17, 2015
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I love telling anybody who asks I'm a Saints supporter. I get a kick out of letting them know that my love for my club is unconnected to success, it is simply a truth that should not be denied. The true worth of any supporter is found in their ability to find hope during the grim times, and it's a big part of why so many of us are gracious when the team is winning. We aren't poorer for being St Kilda supporters. Au contraire, we are a richer, more appreciative and certainly more resilient bunch because of it.
Should be our new slogan.
 

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austinnn

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My assessment of Roo is that he doesn't want to. From everything he's said since he doesn't miss being in a footy club, because he associates with all the stress and anxiety he felt during his playing days.

To put it another way, I think resting bitch face is permanently retired.
Yeah, the fella has gone over and above his call to duty, he has no more obligation to us. As long as he has us in his heart, that's already plenty for me.

Of course I'd like him at the club, but I know he has got a number of higher priorities now and I wish him all the very best with those.
 

tomjoad

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Jun 17, 2018
529
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I love telling anybody who asks I'm a Saints supporter. I get a kick out of letting them know that my love for my club is unconnected to success, it is simply a truth that should not be denied. The true worth of any supporter is found in their ability to find hope during the grim times, and it's a big part of why so many of us are gracious when the team is winning. We aren't poorer for being St Kilda supporters. Au contraire, we are a richer, more appreciative and certainly more resilient bunch because of it.

Yeah, but I do tend to bemoan, blame others, and complain about my situation A LOT 🤣
 

austinnn

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*Long Post Warning!



I missed the conflagration on here Saturday night. Probably a good thing, as I generally misbehave during a good old scrap, so I probably saved myself a little holiday from the forum. I did watch the game in full, albeit on TV. I stayed strangely tranquil, right until the end, when I simply got off the chair and turned the nightmare off. My darling commented on how well I was taking another final quarter capitulation. I didn't bother replying. I retreated to the computer and did what I normally do. Write. Not too well, as some on here remind me from time to time, but the process is incredibly cathartic. I think it's half the reason so many of us come on here.



What it demonstrates to me is there is still so much passion and care for this club. If everyone were ECO, Saturday night would not have happened. It's like when you have a nasty argument with those you love deeply, being kids and spouses/partners. Regrettable things are said in the heat of the moment, which upon reflection were neither meant, nor designed to hurt on an ongoing basis. "To err is human, to forgive is divine."(Bingle 2014)



Everyone on this forum has forgiven the St.Kilda Football Club more times than is generally regarded as healthy. We come back every year, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Every year he ends up on his back, smothered in failure and disappointment. No one can challenge our loyalty, patience, and resilience. And yes, we deserve way better than what has been dished up in the past seven years. I do think, however, that we are again at a crossroads that we've come to many times before. The difference between now and the past? The lessons of the past have hopefully been learned. Like an addict that keeps relapsing, the club is running out of chances with its supporters, but for some visceral feeling, I believe this Board and the club will get it right. Call it a gut feeling, and I can assure you I have a very impressive gut! Maybe not premiership-right, but 2003-2011 right. The chance to be proud to publicly announce your support, the optimism of going to every game with a genuine shot, the thrill of finals and the hope that brings.



I remember talking to Bevo after the 2007 season. I asked him if the thrilling roller coaster '03-'06 was over. Arguably, we had assembled the best list in St.Kilda's history, only to be denied by rotten luck, bad bounces, injuries, etc. Another series of missed opportunities. So cyclical. The good times never last long at Moorabbin. I had heard similar things from supporters then that I'm hearing now. Poor, incompetent administration, hired the wrong coach (RTB), playing list devastated by injury, aging champs had retired or were in their twilight. Some of the younger ones hadn't come on etc. While I acknowledge this situation is different, it is interesting the responses from outsiders, the media included, is entirely predictable and consistent where failure is concerned. It's almost comforting bizarrely because even "experts" in the media are usually wrong about teams on the rise. They just sprout their groupthink and hackneyed cliches and pick up the cheque. Most of us on here have been saints' supporters for many years. I chalked up my 50th year this year and more than 25 years as a member. Many of you have been at it longer. We've seen it all. And then some.



So, onto the reasons, I feel cheerful (apart from alcohol and medication). Firstly, our administration appears more stable and competent than it has since the early '70s. Bassat looks the goods, so far, and the Board appears united. While I have been critical of Finnis for his focus on social issues rather than football matters, overall, he is a big improvement on his predecessors, Archie Bargie and Nettlefool. I had direct dealings with both and came away thinking about how the Board could've got these appointments so wrong. Up there with Plympton giving Timid the coaching job on a whim. I now we should compare ourselves with the best, not the worst, but Finnis has some decent achievements in his CV. The return to Moorabbin being the most critical in terms of our long term future. The best chief since Waldo, who despite some very human failings, was a very sharp operator. Throw in the potential of expansion into China and the sponsorship opportunities already generated, the entry of a women's team (a huge untapped market) and the campaign to capture the Bayside and we're looking good. Now just get cracking on reducing that debt, Matt! Hold.



The acquisition of Satan Lethlean has been a masterstroke. A gem, straight from the bargain bin, where he'd been dumped for non-football related issues. He has conducted a thorough overhaul of all aspects of football operations, with just a bit of further tweaking to come. He should have all in place by the start of next season. In any event, we have a logical and proven successor for the CEO job if Finnis vacates. Satan was always destined to be a CEO in clubland at least. While the top job at the Death Star is probably out of reach because of past indiscretions, I doubt we'd have found better in the open market.



His appointments have strengthened us in critical areas. Gubby Allan will prove his value in the trade period. His IP and network will be priceless, this year and next, when GWS will have to have a major salary cap dump. The elite midfielder we need? "Gags" Gallagher is the interesting one. It is hard to measure his worth from the outside, but it appears we now have lots of cap space and have planned to have plenty left for next year as well. Needless to say, the next two drafts/trade periods will determine our future and we'll have to wait to judge him on those outcomes. To take advantage, we have to create the conditions for success. This year will indicate how attractive we will be to FAs in the future. Money appears to be no problem. What is undeniable is that he has relevant experience in football and business and has been successful in his other pursuits. A big upgrade on his predecessor. Hold.



That brings me to recruiting. The "work experience kid" I first met in Libba, was impressive then and I can only conclude he's improved in the eight years since then. Our drafting and trading of players has been good since he took over the reins three years ago. The fruits of the last the drafts are showing signs of bearing results. Add Gresh from 2015 and we have a core that includes Battle, Clark, Coffield, Winx, Bytel, Wilkie, Marshall, Steele and Hind, all of whom can become A graders. Added to Billings, Membrey, Bruce (do not trade!), Hanners, Paton, Webster and hopefully the return of Robbo and we are a few acquisitions away from being a genuine threat again. If Stuv stays and regains his fitness and health, we could look formidable.



Speaking of which, I've never been as optimistic about a trade period as this one. While some of the major targets have already been taken off the table, we are right in the race for the best of the rest. Hill sounds a certainty. Tomlinson, despite what some on here think, will improve the list. His acquisition helps cultivate the notion of a destination club and he might even help to get us one of his elite mates from GWS in the future.



Bing is the big one. Get him. It's about more than just on-field worth. He will be an A grader, just like his brother, given a decent run of luck with injuries, of that I'm certain. The acquisition will create a buzz around the club not seen since we got Roo and Kosi in 2000. I've never seen Bevo as excited as he was at the time, and it takes a bit to fire him up. He said we would build multiple premiership teams around them. At the time, having seen them both play before the draft, I had to agree. Again, we came agonizingly close. These two will be the faces of the club for a decade, get young kids onboard the way Roo did and ensure our marketing department will have plenty to work with. Let's do a Hawthorn. Whatever it takes. Jones, Ryder, Ah Chee, Martin, and even Harley Bennell would be Moneyball type bargains. Fill needs and could turn into masterstrokes.



Then there is the question of the coach. I have it on very good authority Ratts is over the line. For the first time since Tony Jewell, we have an experienced and proven senior coach. His impact on the club has undeniable. The players support him, so important in any transition. Our first two performances under him showed what potential this list has. We even spanked everyone's current darling, the WBs. His passion, enthusiasm, IP and ability to communicate are outstanding. Compare and contrast his last presser with Richo's efforts. After all the goodwill and positivity, he got down to the brutal truths about what we needed to do to be a top side. Not just competitive. What a breath of fresh air! He spoke like the coach, not a mere candidate. Hopefully, his words will be translated into a massive, and long-overdue improvement in player development.



I wrote earlier this year about Ratten's appointment being the "Clayton's Sacking" of Richo. A superb example of Satan's power and ability to manipulate a terrible situation into a plus. Lumbered with a lame-duck coach for two years, he brought in an obvious successor so that when the obvious became too hard to ignore, a smooth transition was assured, with minimal damage to all parties concerned. How very un-St. Kilda it all was. (If Ratts hasn't got it, I'm going to look like a right duffer, aren't I?)



We are surely due for a change in luck on the injury front. We had an average of 13 players out. Every week! By far the worst of any side in the AFL. Those who missed the season or the majority of it were Roberton, McCartin, Geary, Steven, Longer, Pierce, Carlisle, Webster, Winx, Bytel, with Lonie, Kent, Clavarino and Armitage having their seasons badly interrupted. It is a tribute to the team that it won nine games, given these constraints. Before people tell me injuries are no excuse, I agree, but they are a reason for less than optimal performance. Just look at Richmond without their big four. Seven & six. With three of the big four back in they haven't lost. Even without Cotchin on occasion. If Dusty went down I doubt they'd win the flag. If we can have even just an average run on the injury front, finals are right on the cards.



The galling thing about our injury count was so many of them were not preventable and were just bad luck. A heart condition, depression, concussions, knees, broken bones, backs that required surgery, etc. Good grief! We must have kicked a Chinaman, walked under a ladder near a black cat while smashing a mirror! No blame for our sport science and physical conditioning crews, which are widely acknowledged as amongst the best in the industry.



Finally, back to us, the members and supporters. It's a miracle of sorts that we recorded our second-largest membership tally this year coming off the disaster of 2018. Admittedly, another year like that would do significant damage, but the foundation membership is around 38-40K with the "swinging voters" and newbies the ones we need to target. Old fools like me will always sign up. Plenty of you are like me. As a parent for a child that keeps stuffing up, I will continue to forgive. To me, it feels like 2002 felt internally. Not quite there yet, but worth waiting for next year. For once I can see the club pouring fertilizer on the green shoots, not weed killer. Let's face it. We're all in. May as well see it through.



Go Saints!!
I think back to the time last year with Lethlean said he wasn't "in love with our list" (one of those podcasts with Claire White I think), and I think it's clear what has been happening all year.

Unless Richo made a miracle and turned his sodden rebuild around in the space of a few months, he was always going to be "transitioned out".

Ratten was brought in and let's not kid ourselves, he knew the opportunity that awaited. I wouldn't be surprised if his brief was to use his months under Richo to study the list that appalled Lethlean so much, to separate the list into expendable and indispensable for HIS footy, not the last few years footy.

The club knows we are player heavy - no one has wanted to leave for years - and draft pick light, so inevitably for bringing new players in either via the draft or trades, it's inevitable we'll need to break up our happy family and send the kids off to work.

Therefore we need a head coach without the emotional attachment to his players who can help Gags do the pruning necessary without damaging the core going forward.

So far we've just put the bins out containing our two failed ruckman, the old geezer Dave Armitage and Mr 100 Sam Rowe has said his goodbyes. It's very likely Paddy and Robbo will be walking away too. Now we'll see the ruthlessness of a fully operational football club.

We've had Gubby Allen behind the scenes all year, greasing his networks and shaking trees, making sure that any loose apples are linked to us.

I'd expect to see a fair few favourite Saints or untried players on the trade table and we'll probably accept unders for most. Why?

Because in this scenario, the only real objective is building a list to take us forward, waiting for the perfect deal is a luxury we can't afford. If it means we look like we lost the trade, we'll have to wear it. Bassat wants action. Lethlean wants action. Ratten wants action.

Ratten Gags and Lethlean have identified the tradable players, some to be delisted if all else fails.

Ratten Gubby and Lethlean have identified the players the club wants, and how desperate they are for them.

Gags and Liberatore have identified who they'd like with whatever picks are left.

If it goes like I'm thinking/hoping, it is going to be a bumpy ride, melt city for the rest of the year.

I would just ask for everyone to give the club the benefit of the doubt this off-season and don't storm off. Understand that the Richardson era is over and in the next couple of years will be dismantled.

Not a total rebuild but just about, with a few of the foundations and better materials remaining.

Bring in the wrecking ball
 

PoppedCorn

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Dec 29, 2009
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*Long Post Warning!



I missed the conflagration on here Saturday night. Probably a good thing, as I generally misbehave during a good old scrap, so I probably saved myself a little holiday from the forum. I did watch the game in full, albeit on TV. I stayed strangely tranquil, right until the end, when I simply got off the chair and turned the nightmare off. My darling commented on how well I was taking another final quarter capitulation. I didn't bother replying. I retreated to the computer and did what I normally do. Write. Not too well, as some on here remind me from time to time, but the process is incredibly cathartic. I think it's half the reason so many of us come on here.



What it demonstrates to me is there is still so much passion and care for this club. If everyone were ECO, Saturday night would not have happened. It's like when you have a nasty argument with those you love deeply, being kids and spouses/partners. Regrettable things are said in the heat of the moment, which upon reflection were neither meant, nor designed to hurt on an ongoing basis. "To err is human, to forgive is divine."(Bingle 2014)



Everyone on this forum has forgiven the St.Kilda Football Club more times than is generally regarded as healthy. We come back every year, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Every year he ends up on his back, smothered in failure and disappointment. No one can challenge our loyalty, patience, and resilience. And yes, we deserve way better than what has been dished up in the past seven years. I do think, however, that we are again at a crossroads that we've come to many times before. The difference between now and the past? The lessons of the past have hopefully been learned. Like an addict that keeps relapsing, the club is running out of chances with its supporters, but for some visceral feeling, I believe this Board and the club will get it right. Call it a gut feeling, and I can assure you I have a very impressive gut! Maybe not premiership-right, but 2003-2011 right. The chance to be proud to publicly announce your support, the optimism of going to every game with a genuine shot, the thrill of finals and the hope that brings.



I remember talking to Bevo after the 2007 season. I asked him if the thrilling roller coaster '03-'06 was over. Arguably, we had assembled the best list in St.Kilda's history, only to be denied by rotten luck, bad bounces, injuries, etc. Another series of missed opportunities. So cyclical. The good times never last long at Moorabbin. I had heard similar things from supporters then that I'm hearing now. Poor, incompetent administration, hired the wrong coach (RTB), playing list devastated by injury, aging champs had retired or were in their twilight. Some of the younger ones hadn't come on etc. While I acknowledge this situation is different, it is interesting the responses from outsiders, the media included, is entirely predictable and consistent where failure is concerned. It's almost comforting bizarrely because even "experts" in the media are usually wrong about teams on the rise. They just sprout their groupthink and hackneyed cliches and pick up the cheque. Most of us on here have been saints' supporters for many years. I chalked up my 50th year this year and more than 25 years as a member. Many of you have been at it longer. We've seen it all. And then some.



So, onto the reasons, I feel cheerful (apart from alcohol and medication). Firstly, our administration appears more stable and competent than it has since the early '70s. Bassat looks the goods, so far, and the Board appears united. While I have been critical of Finnis for his focus on social issues rather than football matters, overall, he is a big improvement on his predecessors, Archie Bargie and Nettlefool. I had direct dealings with both and came away thinking about how the Board could've got these appointments so wrong. Up there with Plympton giving Timid the coaching job on a whim. I now we should compare ourselves with the best, not the worst, but Finnis has some decent achievements in his CV. The return to Moorabbin being the most critical in terms of our long term future. The best chief since Waldo, who despite some very human failings, was a very sharp operator. Throw in the potential of expansion into China and the sponsorship opportunities already generated, the entry of a women's team (a huge untapped market) and the campaign to capture the Bayside and we're looking good. Now just get cracking on reducing that debt, Matt! Hold.



The acquisition of Satan Lethlean has been a masterstroke. A gem, straight from the bargain bin, where he'd been dumped for non-football related issues. He has conducted a thorough overhaul of all aspects of football operations, with just a bit of further tweaking to come. He should have all in place by the start of next season. In any event, we have a logical and proven successor for the CEO job if Finnis vacates. Satan was always destined to be a CEO in clubland at least. While the top job at the Death Star is probably out of reach because of past indiscretions, I doubt we'd have found better in the open market.



His appointments have strengthened us in critical areas. Gubby Allan will prove his value in the trade period. His IP and network will be priceless, this year and next, when GWS will have to have a major salary cap dump. The elite midfielder we need? "Gags" Gallagher is the interesting one. It is hard to measure his worth from the outside, but it appears we now have lots of cap space and have planned to have plenty left for next year as well. Needless to say, the next two drafts/trade periods will determine our future and we'll have to wait to judge him on those outcomes. To take advantage, we have to create the conditions for success. This year will indicate how attractive we will be to FAs in the future. Money appears to be no problem. What is undeniable is that he has relevant experience in football and business and has been successful in his other pursuits. A big upgrade on his predecessor. Hold.



That brings me to recruiting. The "work experience kid" I first met in Libba, was impressive then and I can only conclude he's improved in the eight years since then. Our drafting and trading of players has been good since he took over the reins three years ago. The fruits of the last the drafts are showing signs of bearing results. Add Gresh from 2015 and we have a core that includes Battle, Clark, Coffield, Winx, Bytel, Wilkie, Marshall, Steele and Hind, all of whom can become A graders. Added to Billings, Membrey, Bruce (do not trade!), Hanners, Paton, Webster and hopefully the return of Robbo and we are a few acquisitions away from being a genuine threat again. If Stuv stays and regains his fitness and health, we could look formidable.



Speaking of which, I've never been as optimistic about a trade period as this one. While some of the major targets have already been taken off the table, we are right in the race for the best of the rest. Hill sounds a certainty. Tomlinson, despite what some on here think, will improve the list. His acquisition helps cultivate the notion of a destination club and he might even help to get us one of his elite mates from GWS in the future.



Bing is the big one. Get him. It's about more than just on-field worth. He will be an A grader, just like his brother, given a decent run of luck with injuries, of that I'm certain. The acquisition will create a buzz around the club not seen since we got Roo and Kosi in 2000. I've never seen Bevo as excited as he was at the time, and it takes a bit to fire him up. He said we would build multiple premiership teams around them. At the time, having seen them both play before the draft, I had to agree. Again, we came agonizingly close. These two will be the faces of the club for a decade, get young kids onboard the way Roo did and ensure our marketing department will have plenty to work with. Let's do a Hawthorn. Whatever it takes. Jones, Ryder, Ah Chee, Martin, and even Harley Bennell would be Moneyball type bargains. Fill needs and could turn into masterstrokes.



Then there is the question of the coach. I have it on very good authority Ratts is over the line. For the first time since Tony Jewell, we have an experienced and proven senior coach. His impact on the club has undeniable. The players support him, so important in any transition. Our first two performances under him showed what potential this list has. We even spanked everyone's current darling, the WBs. His passion, enthusiasm, IP and ability to communicate are outstanding. Compare and contrast his last presser with Richo's efforts. After all the goodwill and positivity, he got down to the brutal truths about what we needed to do to be a top side. Not just competitive. What a breath of fresh air! He spoke like the coach, not a mere candidate. Hopefully, his words will be translated into a massive, and long-overdue improvement in player development.



I wrote earlier this year about Ratten's appointment being the "Clayton's Sacking" of Richo. A superb example of Satan's power and ability to manipulate a terrible situation into a plus. Lumbered with a lame-duck coach for two years, he brought in an obvious successor so that when the obvious became too hard to ignore, a smooth transition was assured, with minimal damage to all parties concerned. How very un-St. Kilda it all was. (If Ratts hasn't got it, I'm going to look like a right duffer, aren't I?)



We are surely due for a change in luck on the injury front. We had an average of 13 players out. Every week! By far the worst of any side in the AFL. Those who missed the season or the majority of it were Roberton, McCartin, Geary, Steven, Longer, Pierce, Carlisle, Webster, Winx, Bytel, with Lonie, Kent, Clavarino and Armitage having their seasons badly interrupted. It is a tribute to the team that it won nine games, given these constraints. Before people tell me injuries are no excuse, I agree, but they are a reason for less than optimal performance. Just look at Richmond without their big four. Seven & six. With three of the big four back in they haven't lost. Even without Cotchin on occasion. If Dusty went down I doubt they'd win the flag. If we can have even just an average run on the injury front, finals are right on the cards.



The galling thing about our injury count was so many of them were not preventable and were just bad luck. A heart condition, depression, concussions, knees, broken bones, backs that required surgery, etc. Good grief! We must have kicked a Chinaman, walked under a ladder near a black cat while smashing a mirror! No blame for our sport science and physical conditioning crews, which are widely acknowledged as amongst the best in the industry.



Finally, back to us, the members and supporters. It's a miracle of sorts that we recorded our second-largest membership tally this year coming off the disaster of 2018. Admittedly, another year like that would do significant damage, but the foundation membership is around 38-40K with the "swinging voters" and newbies the ones we need to target. Old fools like me will always sign up. Plenty of you are like me. As a parent for a child that keeps stuffing up, I will continue to forgive. To me, it feels like 2002 felt internally. Not quite there yet, but worth waiting for next year. For once I can see the club pouring fertilizer on the green shoots, not weed killer. Let's face it. We're all in. May as well see it through.



Go Saints!!

FFS

Now im ECI again
fu** it give hill a million

Nice read drake
😎
 

gringo2011

Premium Gold
Nov 12, 2011
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I think back to the time last year with Lethlean said he wasn't "in love with our list" (one of those podcasts with Claire White I think), and I think it's clear what has been happening all year.

Unless Richo made a miracle and turned his sodden rebuild around in the space of a few months, he was always going to be "transitioned out".

Ratten was brought in and let's not kid ourselves, he knew the opportunity that awaited. I wouldn't be surprised if his brief was to use his months under Richo to study the list that appalled Lethlean so much, to separate the list into expendable and indispensable for HIS footy, not the last few years footy.

The club knows we are player heavy - no one has wanted to leave for years - and draft pick light, so inevitably for bringing new players in either via the draft or trades, it's inevitable we'll need to break up our happy family and send the kids off to work.

Therefore we need a head coach without the emotional attachment to his players who can help Gags do the pruning necessary without damaging the core going forward.

So far we've just put the bins out containing our two failed ruckman, the old geezer Dave Armitage and Mr 100 Sam Rowe has said his goodbyes. It's very likely Paddy and Robbo will be walking away too. Now we'll see the ruthlessness of a fully operational football club.

We've had Gubby Allen behind the scenes all year, greasing his networks and shaking trees, making sure that any loose apples are linked to us.

I'd expect to see a fair few favourite Saints or untried players on the trade table and we'll probably accept unders for most. Why?

Because in this scenario, the only real objective is building a list to take us forward, waiting for the perfect deal is a luxury we can't afford. If it means we look like we lost the trade, we'll have to wear it. Bassat wants action. Lethlean wants action. Ratten wants action.

Ratten Gags and Lethlean have identified the tradable players, some to be delisted if all else fails.

Ratten Gubby and Lethlean have identified the players the club wants, and how desperate they are for them.

Gags and Liberatore have identified who they'd like with whatever picks are left.

If it goes like I'm thinking/hoping, it is going to be a bumpy ride, melt city for the rest of the year.

I would just ask for everyone to give the club the benefit of the doubt this off-season and don't storm off. Understand that the Richardson era is over and in the next couple of years will be dismantled.

Not a total rebuild but just about, with a few of the foundations and better materials remaining.

Bring in the wrecking ball

I wish I shared your enthusiasm. It looks more like panic set in and we are throwing everything out to buy the new guys time.
 

austinnn

Veteran GOP
Nov 7, 2012
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I wish I shared your enthusiasm. It looks more like panic set in and we are throwing everything out to buy the new guys time.
Clearly not. It's been a considered approach ever since Lethlean entered the club and Bassat became president. You reckon Lethlean was an AFL plant and I reckon you are right, but not to destroy us, to strengthen us.

Quite apart from the AFL president being a Saints tragic, he's not about a let a Foundation club wither and die on the vine. They've invested oodles into us already, but we never get our top appointments right. Throw in a couple of sharp operators like Finnis and Lethlean to cut out the cancers and get this sick bird flying again.

Lethlean saw what we saw, a poor list stagnating under poor development and outdated coaching.

Step one: cut the cord and bin the coach and his rebuild, despite being beloved by the players. Keep him for now to avoid payout but write the year off.

Step two: change the list manager and terminate the fool who was responsible for the last few years of ineptitude.

Step three: Bring in an experienced coach with IP from the successful modern clubs to analyse the list and figure out what can be used free of pressure and attention.

Step four: bring in an experienced network man to turn players heads enough to give this anti-destination club a fighting chance.

Step five: flick the old coach and bring in the new coach to shake the players up.

Step six: turn the list over.

Step seven: sacrifice enough goats and virgins to appease the cruel footy gods and hold on for the ride of your career. Either infinite glory or everlasting redundancy awaits!
 
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NextYearPlease

Debutant
Oct 28, 2018
69
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Yeah, the fella has gone over and above his call to duty, he has no more obligation to us. As long as he has us in his heart, that's already plenty for me.

Of course I'd like him at the club, but I know he has got a number of higher priorities now and I wish him all the very best with those.
Just as long as he and his children spend their winters in Melbourne for the next 16 or so years honing their father and son skills.
 

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