Open Letter to Alan Richardson: My suggestions to you for better Saints

Dear Alan,

As a club member, I am frustrated with our poor performances in 2018. I had thought we were rising after finishing last in 2014, but the reality I has been tough.

 

I am writing to suggest you some positive advice and do not want to criticise you or our players.

 

Your job must be hard to do because Ross Lyon didn’t blood kids, Scott Watters couldn’t help much to rebuild, and legends have hanged up boots. Stephen, Justin Koschitze and Jason Blake (a year before you arrived the club), and Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna serviced a lot to the club. Then young blokes are still developing and can’t reach high skills that these legends offered.

 

We have to accept these good eras end sometime in general. So we have to move on.

 

As we have no Lenny or Saint Nick or Joey any more, I think our game plan needs to be revised.

 

We demonstrated good handpasses and kicks in the midfield a few years ago. Now sadly handpasses and kicks are more done to open space and footy is collected by opponents.

 

As I have been coached (I am playing footy at the Osaka Dingoes Football Club), players need to run close enough in order to kick accurately.

 

Sadly as Montagna’s fast runs were not replaced by young players, such skills are needed.

 

Boys need to gain skills getting out congestions and finding open space. I really like to see coast to coast footy where no opponent player can be seen.

 

One day, an Australian bloke, who is playing local footy in Melbourne and helped me kicking footy, has told me that it was hard to control oval balls. Kicking is not easy, but boys need to improve kicking skills. I am frustrated to see missing opportunities. On the social media, some fans suggest that Milney should be offered a job to help improving kicking skills. I agree and Milney is the good role model to kick accurately.

 

Leadership can be another issue at the club, I think. We have relied much on Riewoldt and Montagna. Our current leader group needs more leadership programs as well as advice from former Saints (Nick and Joey). I hope they can come back to the club next year.

 

The last suggestion to you is coaching on the bench. Paul Roos have been on the boundary line for a while to communicate more to his players, both at Swans and Demons. I think it helped Sydney to win the flag in 2005.

 

When former your boss of Brett Ratten did the same, I really liked it and was impressed to see.

 

Damian Hardwick has done at the beginning of his coaching career at Richmond and his Tigers won the flag last year.

 

Then why not coaching on the bench for a while?

 

These suggestions can be crucial, but please take my message as my wish to help the mighty Saints.

 

You will see my picture soon hopefully, as recently I have met a lovely couple whose son is playing footy with your son. I asked them to show it to their son and then to your son. I was wearing a St Kilda cap and an Osaka Dingoes guernsey.

 

I am visiting Melbourne in July and attending the game against Richmond. Hope I can have a chat to you there and see our win at the MRV match.

 

Go Richo! Go Saints!

 

Kind regards

 

Yoshi Imagawa

 

St Kilda club member
Osaka Dingoes player and public relations officer
Contributor for Footy Almanac and World Footy News

 

Based in Kyoto, Japan

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

A Japanese Saints diehard with huge passions. The Western Bulldogs won the flag in 2016 and Richmond followed in 2017, so why not St Kilda in 2018? Like my St Kilda, I strive and work hard to achieve my life goals both in profession and my private life. Sadly I missed watching footy while my favourite Nick Riewoldt was playing and when St Kilda had Anzac Day clashes in Wellington. But I am excited to be back in Melbourne in July 2018 for two St Kilda matches. Now I am a player for the Osaka Dingoes Footy Club, as well as a public relations officer. My stories of footy in Asia including the Dingoes news can be found on World Footy News.

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