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Long-time assistant Alan Richardson unveiled as St Kilda's new coach

Date

Scott Spits

Long time coming .... new St Kilda coach Alan Richardson.

Long time coming .... new St Kilda coach Alan Richardson. Photo: Wayne Taylor

St Kilda has unveiled Alan Richardson as their new coach to replace the sacked Scott Watters. After days of negotiations between various parties, including talks between St Kilda and Richardson's former club Port Adelaide, the 48-year-old was appointed and said it was a "great honour" to earn an AFL senior coaching position, a role he had sought for several years.

"The direction the club has already started taking in terms of the list is something that really excites me," said Richardson said, who agreed to a three-year deal with the Saints.

Alan Richardson narrowly missed the job two years ago.

Alan Richardson narrowly missed the job two years ago. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

"Culturally we want to make sure we're a really competitive, aggressive and hard-working footy team,’’ he said. "I’ve always had aspirations to coach my own team."

Richardson has been strongly praised by Port coach Ken Hinkley after the Power surged from 14th last year to fifth in 2013 in Richardson’s first season at the club as director of coaching.

A former assistant at Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and Western Bulldogs, the tough defender played 114 games for the Magpies and missed the 1990 grand final through injury.

Richardson, who was overlooked for the St Kilda job two years ago when the Saints opted for Watters, had initially signalled to Port on Tuesday night he was not interested in applying for the Saints’ job again.

However by Wednesday morning informed the Port management he had reconsidered his position.

St Kilda president Peter Summers said the Saints board interviewed a number of applicants, before ratifying the decision to appoint Richardson. ‘‘Our new coach comes with a wealth of experience,’’ said Summers.

Richmond senior development coach Mark Williams, who guided Port to their only AFL flag in 2004, had previously been favoured for the top job at St Kilda.

But it’s understood the Saints baulked at Williams' request for a five-year contract.

The Saints finished third-last in 2013 with a 5-17 win-loss record and will have three top-20 picks in next week's national draft including pick three.

Earlier on Thursday Richardson arrived at Seaford on Thursday, hours after Port chairman David Koch blasted the Saints for waiting until November to sack Watters.

Earlier in the day, Koch had suggested the Power could match any financial offer made to Richardson.

"As far as we're concerned, he's on contract until the end of 2015 and that's the way it stays," Koch told Channel Seven's Sunrise program.

"Our view is it's the start of the pre-season.

"Yes, St Kilda are a club in turmoil, well sort it out, don't spread that to us."

Richardson had another two years remaining on his contract with Port Adelaide. But the new Saints coach said Koch had been ‘‘very understanding’’ about his decision to leave the Power just one year into a three-year contract.

With AAP

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24 comments so far

  • Career suicide! This club is a joke and a rabble. Richardson is an honourable man and PAFC will wish him well but he might have burnt his bridges with all but Collingwood. Just waiting for Buckley to go down in flames. Good luck, fella.

    Commenter
    Pat
    Date and time
    November 14, 2013, 6:03PM
    • Saints still have fourteen players from the last minor round game in 2012 when they beat Carlton available to them of which several missed many games with injury in 2013,and wth a stronger backline likely to be put on the field., along with the players being a lot happier under a new coach i think you will find that the 2014 Saints will be more competetive

      Commenter
      Paul T
      Location
      3550
      Date and time
      November 16, 2013, 5:13AM
  • Everything about this just reeks of unprofessionalism but then again it's St Kilda. What do you expect?

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Fremantle
    Date and time
    November 14, 2013, 6:12PM
    • Well Peter, Fremantle wrote the book on 'Unprofessionalism' over 15 years so you should know.

      Commenter
      Rick
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 7:10PM
  • Hold on just a minute.

    I read yesterday that he wasn't interested? What's going on here? Who can I trust, if i cant trust the football reporters from the newspaper?!?

    Also, looking at the picture that has been used here, if you squint your eyes a bit, I think Alan Richardson look s a little bit like a young Tom Hanks.? yes, no, maybe?

    Anyway, good luck to him. Saints were on the slide, no matter what coach was in charge.

    I think good players make good coaches.

    Only a very few coaches in history in any sport can turn an ordinary group of players into a champion team. Maybe 60 years ago, by training them a bit harder, but not now.

    Maybe the saints need an assistant like Brad Pitt from that Moneyball movie.

    Commenter
    Kam i Am
    Location
    iWork
    Date and time
    November 14, 2013, 6:23PM
    • Good call on the Tom Hanks resemblance. Which movie though?

      'Castaway' ... where he starts to develop the player's ball skills with Wilson the Volleyball (a bit like the recent Irish series) and discovers the concept of 'flooding', ....

      or Saving Private St Kilda .. sorry I meant 'Ryan' ... the story of a young man's journey into a nightmare .. at a footy club that seems hell bent on self destruction ... but then again maybe he'll find his redemption in next year's draft.

      Commenter
      F.O.M.O
      Location
      An Island somewhere
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 10:05PM
    • Oh man, so many movies to choose from...

      I think he looks a bit like the boozer coach manager in A League of Their Own. Remember that one?, it had madonna in it. Girls baseball film, during WWII.

      Commenter
      Kam i Am
      Location
      iWork
      Date and time
      November 15, 2013, 10:49AM
  • Peter of Fremantle you call St.Kilda unprofessional. What did you do a few years ago. OH! I forgot you poached the coach of St. Kilda who still had a year left of his contract. Sour grapes is it.

    Commenter
    Jacqui Gee
    Date and time
    November 14, 2013, 6:47PM
    • I am labouring under the apprehension that Ross Lyon jumped, Jaqui. Rats and sinking ships come to mind. Still sinking. Maybe Richardson is the rudder this old barge needs.

      Commenter
      Pat
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 6:58PM
    • Jacqui Gee. Your "sour grapes" comment is just laughable. Fremantle got their man and Lyon is obviously a great coach. I do feel very sorry for Alan Richardson though. Imagine being involved with that uncontrollable rabble.

      Commenter
      mal duxworthy
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 7:12PM

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