Perplexed, Warburton.


Never has a club been so blessed in being sacked by its coach as St Kilda in losing Ross Lyon.

Two years ago I wrote up a Carlton-St Kilda game for the Almanac.  In 45 years of watching the game I’ve seen some monumental thrashings, but always there’s been a Bobby Skilton, or even someone with not much talent at all, who’s tried his guts out until he’s carried off in the last quarter.

Not St Kilda that night.

They had beaten the Scraggers the week before with a strangling game that some commentators predicted could mean the death of football if it caught on.  They tried the same dead press and were blown to smithereens by pace and long kicking.

The most striking fact that night was their total inability to change gear, try something else.  Scarcely a positional change, certainly no change in tactics.  The most mindless and spiritless performance I have ever seen.

When I read my match report in the Almanac at season’s end I was annoyed to see that the end note listing “Best Players” for St Kilda read “Hayes”.  I had submitted my verdict as “None.”  Done by a sub-editor, I was told.

Last night I watched St Kilda destroy Carlton in exactly the same way we did to them two years ago – great pace and kicking the ball to a contest.

Most of the players out there were there two years ago.  What has changed?

Poor old Freeo.



  1. pamela sherpa says

    Jim, I think what has changed is that the younger new breed of coaches have brought some competitive sense back into the competition. They are empowering their players to play, instead of cluttering their minds with negative rubbish. Some people are critical of ‘high risk ‘ footy not standing up in finals. I think the opposite. Unless players are confident to have a go and take a risks they will flounder and be cruelly found out.

  2. Jim – 90% of football is half mental.

  3. Dips – that goes for Almanackers as well.

  4. Dear Jim, someone wrote on the website a while ago, “Ross Who?” I’m so happy I can’t even remember if it was me who wrote it. And I caught a moment of 360 tonight when a Fremantle newspaper worried about ugly footy. I thought, good, you wanted it, now you have it. I have loved what Scotty Watters has done, bring back the spark, smashed the bubble and let my people (footballers and supporters) go to freedom. May we continue to improve and improve and be free to kick long bombs forward to loose men of the quality of Stanley, Milera, Saad, Milne etc. Go Saints


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