"I don't pick my friends lightly," Dermott Brereton says of Scott Watters. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Former Hawthorn champion and media commentator Dermott Brereton has launched a scathing attack on St Kilda and in particular its list manager Chris Pelchen for the club’s “pathetic” decision to sack coach Scott Watters on Friday.
Brereton, a close friend of Watters, said struggling Melbourne was “miles ahead” of St Kilda and that 17 other clubs were closer to winning a premiership than the Saints.
He said St Kilda was the most poorly led club in the competition and that it was a case of “the blind leading the blind”. But he reserved his strongest criticism for Pelchen, whose relationship with Watters had deteriorated through last season to the point the pair were believed to be barely on speaking terms.
“We always over-dramatise things, but there’s someone with a lot of blood on their hands tonight,” Brereton said on radio station SEN.
Brereton said Pelchen was one of AFL football’s “myths”.
“What you’ve got is a bloke who, by all records, says he put together Port Adelaide's list. He says he came to Hawthorn and gave them ‘Buddy’ Franklin, yet it was [recruiter] Gary Buckenara who did. There's a lot of myths in footy, and we’re talking about one of them.
“The three strong football people who oppose him [Pelchen] – Greg Hutchison, Dean Laidley and now Scott Watters – are no longer there.”
Brereton launched a vigorous defence of Watters, claiming that, along with his former Hawthorn teammates Rodney Eade and Terry Wallace, Watters was the best football brain he had come across.
“I don’t pick my mates lightly, and I don’t pick dickheads as friends,” he said.
“Every coach that goes to a new club makes a few enemies,” he said. “The older blokes get pushed on. Everyone thinks the best coach they had coincides with the peak of their career.’’