JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Why Nick Riewoldt must remain a Saint

Illustration: Mick Connolly

Illustration: Mick Connolly

If Buddy, Gary and Juddy can move clubs, why can't Nick Riewoldt?

If Nick Dal Santo is likely to finish his career at a club that's far closer to a premiership than the Saints, why can't Riewoldt also seek to emulate Brian Lake?

Dale Thomas is making the hazardous move from Collingwood to Carlton. In the minds of one club's vociferous supporters, that's akin to Anakin Skywalker hooking himself up to a breathing apparatus. For the Blues, Daisy's jumping the Berlin Wall and finding freedom. But the same logic applies - if Daisy's prepared to take the heat for leaving the Pies for Carlton, why shouldn't Riewoldt outrage his tribe by finishing up with Collingwood (or, less offensively, Richmond)?

Here's why. St Kilda Football Club has to stand for something, besides the burning of small people and aberrant player behaviour. Saint Nick is among the rocks upon which this church is built. At a time when the Saints are struggling for wins, money and unity, they need Riewoldt to provide stability, leadership and a corporate memory of those gallant grand final teams.

They need him to hang around long enough for impressionable youngsters to learn how to train and prepare themselves. He's the premier role model at his club.

But it's not just St Kilda that would be damaged by Riewoldt leaving the Saints. The game needs him to stay.

Players, coaches, officials and even fans have been conditioned to the notion that football ''is a business now.'' Well, yes it's commercial, cut-throat and the better players are increasingly willing to move. What goes unsaid, however, is that while it is a business, it's a business like no other. The business of football is supported by the religion. That makes it the reverse of Scientology.

Sometimes, the hard-headed decision just isn't right. Club members aren't regular shareholders. They aren't looking for a conventional return on their investment. They want to win and be part of a like-minded congregation. And they want players to adore.

Some beloved players ascend to sainthood, a rare few are further elevated to become the club messiah, and then there's James Hird.

Franklin mattered to Hawthorn fans - particularly to children - but wasn't so integral to Hawthorn's playing group and coaches. He's an external loss, not someone mourned at close quarters. The Hawks would find it much harder to cop Luke Hodge leaving. ''I'd be devastated if Hodge went and played for GWS,'' said one Hawthorn insider, in the wake of Buddy's exit. ''I'd imagine that's how St Kilda would feel about Riewoldt.''

The fans certainly would feel flattened by Riewoldt leaving. As a captain, he's more officer class than in the earthy Hodge-style, so his teammates mightn't be quite as mournful. But he would still leave one hell of a hole.

Geelong's inspiring skipper Joel Selwood is another player whose exit would be horrifying - a fact he recognised a couple of years ago, when he spurned an offer of what we believe was almost $1.5 million a year for five years to play for Greater Western Sydney. Not everyone takes the money.

Riewoldt, clearly, has had to contemplate the prospect of moving. He was approached by Eddie McGuire and he would also appeal to a couple of other clubs. Richmond, for instance, has the family connection via Jack, and their front half would be greatly approved with a second Riewoldt.

But the Saints are adamant that their Riewoldt won't be traded. They've had some discussions about extending his contract, which runs out at the end of next year. The club is willing to extend Riewoldt's contract by 12 months, in what is a recognition of his special circumstances and stature.

Riewoldt's partner Catherine is from Texas and he'd be aware of how Peyton Manning, the decorated quarterback and franchise player, crossed from the Indianapolis Colts to the Denver Broncos during 2012.

Manning's situation at the Colts had strong parallels with Riewoldt's. His team was bottomed out and rebuilding. When they chose an outstanding young quarterback, Andrew Luck, as the NFL's No.1 pick, the Colts decided to let Manning go and find a club which was still a realistic chance for the Super Bowl. He chose the Broncos, who've consequently won their first four matches this year and are favourites to be there on Super Sunday.

While Manning had won a Super Bowl ring with the Colts and Riewoldt has been cruelly denied the AFL equivalent twice, the Saints' situation is pretty comparable to the Colts, though they don't have the rights to Tom Boyd, the projected No.1 pick who would replace Riewoldt in the same way that Luck filled the Manning slot at quarterback (Manning, Luck and Riewoldt all being No.1 picks, Boyd anointed as No.1). There's no denying that, philosophically, it makes sense to give up a very good player to a team that can win a flag - or which thinks it can - when your team obviously cannot win one during his career.

Collingwood has pick 10, will surely gain pick No.11 for Thomas and will be further compensated for trading Heath Shaw. The Pies might have given St Kilda a first rounder for Riewoldt, theoretically putting them back closer to premiership contention. I say ''theoretically'' since the Pies have lost two A-grade players and appear lacking in both leg speed and defenders who can kick. Riewoldt wouldn't necessarily be the answer for them.

If Riewoldt was to go, one wonders how many other iconic players will follow. It would be natural to wonder, then, if there's a single player who couldn't be shifted if the circumstances suited club and player.


  • He needs to go to show everyone that loyalty to club is over that the unique game and business built around that are truly gone.

    Free trade as a reison d'etre is a fallacy pulled over your eyes by the greedy, greedy players and greedy AFL. If they setup a proper after game compensation sharing system then there would be no issue.

    Free agency is in and must now be acknowledged and shown to the people for what it is.

    Move Saint Nick and show the people.

    Date and time
    October 06, 2013, 2:03PM
    • Nathan, obviously a non St Kilda supporter! The only way Nick Riewoldt is going to be traded to Collingwood is if the Saints get Cloke, Swan, O'Brien and Pendlebury in return! CARN THE MIGHTY SAINTS! St Kilda has brilliant up and coming youngsters and will challenge for their 2nd premiership in 5 years! If you don't believe me, look at Port Adelaide!

      Date and time
      October 06, 2013, 2:38PM
      • 1 measly flag in over 100 years??? A NOTHING club that stands for NOTHING....Reiwoldt worth 4 Premiership players? Funniest thing I've seen/heard since THAT smother on GF Day in 2010

        Port Melbourne
        Date and time
        October 06, 2013, 3:56PM
      • One of a few Melbourne based clubs that should be relocated or disposed of!

        Date and time
        October 06, 2013, 4:13PM
    • Nick, you have given much to the sainters. If you feel there is something out there that appeals, and it is right for you, do it. It is your career and you life. Only you can take care of that!

      No Pressure
      Date and time
      October 06, 2013, 3:29PM
      • @ MTK Jeez your easily amused. Guess you laughed yourself sick when Shaw cost you this years semi with his dummy spit!
        PS You have won 2 flags since 1958,Saints 1.

        Date and time
        October 06, 2013, 4:14PM
        • So.....twice as many as the 'mighty' saints? And 15 times more than them in total? Try harder next time champ....back of the class for you.

          Port Melbourne
          Date and time
          October 06, 2013, 4:58PM
        • @ MTK Yep Collingwoods on fire - 4 premierships since 1936 ! That's 77 years . And you sacked your premiership coach. Yep , you've got a real lot to crow about. Everything is just wonderful down there, all as happy as larry together.

          Date and time
          October 06, 2013, 5:28PM
        • Wal.. i love how people manipulate stats to support their argument... let me demonstrate.. the pies have won 2 premierships since 1990, saints 0... and again.. they have won 1 since 2010, saints 0.... they have also won 15 in their history, saints 1... see I can do it too!

          get a clue mate
          Date and time
          October 06, 2013, 5:44PM
        • @ get a clue Just sick to death of Collingwood people thinking they are still a super power.You won 11 of your 15 premierships before 1937!!. Just because I'm a LONG suffering StKilda supporter doesn't mean I can't see delusional supporters. Collingwood has underperformed since WW II. Your living in the past ( pre War) if you think your a modern day successful club.

          Date and time
          October 06, 2013, 6:02PM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed

      Related Coverage

      HuffPost Australia

      AFL 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
      SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
      BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
      WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
      ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
      FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
      COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
      GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
      PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
      ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
      NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
      ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
      SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
      BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
      GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
      WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
      ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
      GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
      PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
      FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
      GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
      WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
      SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
      GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
      NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
      WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
      STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
      ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
      WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
      GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
      GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
      MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
      FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
      PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
      HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
      CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
      SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
      WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
      RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
      BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
      GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
      GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
      HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
      FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
      MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
      MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
      WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
      RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
      ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
      COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
      WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
      GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
      ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
      PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
      NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
      STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
      NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
      WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
      BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
      STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
      GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
      WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
      ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
      WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
      WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
      HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
      BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
      SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
      FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
      PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
      STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
      ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
      RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
      ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
      BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
      MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
      WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
      Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
      COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
      CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
      GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
      ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
      FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
      Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
      WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
      BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
      GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
      WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
      GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
      STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
      Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
      PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
      BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
      Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
      WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
      Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
      GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
      GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
      STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
      ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
      Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
      CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
      Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
      HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
      NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
      ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
      GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
      STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
      FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
      RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
      Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
      BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
      PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
      SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
      WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
      Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 24
      Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
      WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
      Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
      FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
      WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
      Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
      RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 25
      Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
      HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
      Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 26
      Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
      FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
      Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
      WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 27
      Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
      HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
      West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
      Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
      Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
      Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
      Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
      Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
      North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
      View all

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers