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Walls rejects Thomas sack claims

Date

Jared Lynch

ROBERT Walls has rejected claims he was part of former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas’ sacking. Thomas said on Monday night he understood Walls was on a panel that reviewed his position at the Saints before he was fired in 2006.

But Walls, a triple Carlton premiership player and Blues premiership coach, said this morning that Thomas’ claim was "absolute nonsense".

"It’s absolutely wrong,” Walls told SEN radio

"I didn’t know people at St Kilda.

"I got a phone call from (then president) Rod Butterss once they had sacked Grant Thomas and he said ‘I’d like to meet you… I would like you to be on this panel to select our new coach.'

"I said I was happy enough to do that and that’s the entire story.

"To suggest I was at meetings mid-season, reviewing Grant Thomas as coach of St Kilda, is just absolute nonsense."

Thomas told Footy Classified Monday night that Walls was part of a committee to select his replacement, but said he understood the Carlton legend had meetings with the Saints’ board "throughout" that year.

"Robert didn’t undermine me at all, he was just doing what he was asked," Thomas said.

"He’s allowed to give an opinion."

Walls said the only contact he had with St Kilda before Thomas’ sacking was two meetings with Thomas, which he said were in a mentoring capacity.

"I met with Grant at his home and we just talked footy, all kinds of things to do with footy," Walls said.

"To come out and say that I was part of his demise, half way through his last season (2006), is absolute nonsense."

Archie Fraser, then St Kilda chief executive, confirmed Walls version of events saying the veteran premiership coach was not involved at St Kilda until after Thomas had departed.
 
"We never talked 2 Walls b4 GT departed - GT on review from July & we didn't need any1 outside 2 tell how he was going!" he tweeted.

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