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Ratten axing the right call: Thomas

Former St Kilda player and coach Grant Thomas has backed his former club’s decision to sack coach Brett Ratten, just months after extending his contract for two years.

Ratten was sacked as Saints coach following a review in to the club’s football department on Thursday night, made official by the club on Friday.

Thomas, who coached the Saints to three finals series in his tenure from 2001-2006, backed the board’s decision.

“St Kilda hasn’t been in the premiership business for well over a decade and we’ve just been meandering along in an irrelevant fashion,” Thomas told Sports Breakfast on Friday.

“I applaud any move or decision that gets us in to the premiership business.

“If you made a mistake by appointing Brett for two years three months ago and now you know it’s the wrong decision you need to have the courage to acknowledge that and make it rather than meandering along for another two years.

“You don’t turn one mistake in to two. I think it’s the right call. I know Brett wouldn’t agree with that, but I think it’s the right decision and we are now in a position to secure the services of an elite AFL coach.”

Thomas expects a tried senior coach to be given the reins to replace Ratten.

“I think there is two or three successful AFL coaches, Luke Beveridge, Mark Williams, James Hird or Ross Lyon who have all had success. I think they will look at those candidates first,” he said.

“St Kilda hasn’t got time for a person to be learning on the job for the first 2-3 years. We need someone now because of the critical juncture that we are at to change that boat and get our culture, leadership, and standards right.

“That might only be for three years, but that needs to be indoctrinated in to the club. What happens after that will happen.”

The Saints finished tenth in season 2022, having made finals once since 2011.

The Moorabbin based club has won just one premiership in 149 seasons, having struggled for finals appearances after three Grand Finals in 2009-10.

IMAGE: Fox Sports.


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