Nick Riewoldt and Grant Thomas together back in 2004.
Nick Riewoldt and Grant Thomas together back in 2004.

Former Saints may play part in coach hunt

St Kilda will ramp up its search for a new coach over the weekend when club chiefs meet to discuss the make-up of its selection committee.

President Andrew Bassat will arrive back home in Melbourne on Thursday night and will hold talks with chief executive Matthew Finnis about committee candidates and the attributes the club wants in its new coach.

Finnis is likely to be on the selection committee, while footy boss Simon Lethlean will also be strongly considered for a position on the panel.




However, Lethlean is close friends with one of the leading candidates former coach Brad Scott, potentially compromising his position.

Scott is still weighing up if he wants to return to club land after parting ways with the Roos in Round 10 after 10 years at Arden St.

The club has strongly denied Scott is a lock for the St Kilda job.

Collingwood assistant coaches Robert Harvey, who was a champion St Kilda midfielder, and Justin Longmuir, have also won strong support.

Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas and champion forward Nick Riewoldt have said they would happily consider a position on the selection panel, if asked.



"I'm a devoted Saints person," Thomas said on Macquarie Sports Radio.

"And the reason I went there 20 years ago was to earn respect and provide us with sustained success.

"If someone asks me for help, I help. That's just what I do.

"But it's probably unlikely given I say what I think and that seems to upset people.

"I'm always happy to have a chat."

Riewoldt said it was the right call to move on former coach Alan Richardson after six years without a finals berth.

The former captain said he would consider being involved in the process.

"Potentially," Riewoldt said on SEN.

"That will play out, if indeed I am asked at all."

He supported Thomas's ability to help the club pick its next coach.

"He (Thomas) has got a really good lens on what constitutes a strong culture, what constitutes strong leadership, he has St Kilda at heart, you could never question his desire for St Kilda to be a great football club and he's super passionate about it," Riewoldt told SEN.

"So, I think the motivation level is high, the expertise is really strong. So yeah, why not (ask him)?"

And Riewoldt said his old mentor Ross Lyon should be looked at if he was willing to return to the Saints.

Lyon is contracted at Fremantle until the end of the season, but an extension at the Dockers has not yet been forthcoming.

"There's a bit of a misconception about the way he left the Saints that would need to be cleared up … but I can't see that (his return) happening," Riewoldt said.



"He's contracted at Freo."

Riewoldt reiterated his view the Saints might need some tough love from their next coach.

"Richo was a very empathetic coach, sort of more a teacher, so more the carrot rather than the stick," he said.

"(Harder) … was more my style, more of what I would respond to in trying to develop a culture.

"And that's OK, I was exposed to that through Ross Lyon. Grant Thomas was probably more a combination (of the two methods), Richo was probably more the carrot as I mentioned.

"And that's OK, that doesn't mean I'm right."


St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis with former coach Alan Richardson (right). Pic: AAP
St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis with former coach Alan Richardson (right). Pic: AAP