Ross Lyon named St Kilda coach, watch live, news updates – Code

  • October 24, 2022

Long billed as a defensive mastermind, incoming coach Ross Lyon has revealed plans to install a game plan at St Kilda which is likely to surprise many and please Saints fans.
Ross Lyon says clubs plotting to run down premiers Geelong will have to run like the wind — and St Kilda’s returning coach says his list is already blessed with strong legs.
The Saints went running back to Lyon 11 years after he walked to Fremantle, with president Andrew Bassat admitting they were confident he would answer their SOS call before they sacked incumbent Brett Ratten.
“We knew from the conversations he’d had with Carlton and the conversations he’d had around Essendon that he was keen to coach again,” Bassat said on Monday as Lyon was unveiled as coach for the next four seasons.
Lyon and Bassat were adamant they did not speak until after Ratten had his recently-signed two-year contract extension terminated at a board meeting on October 13.
REPLAY ROSS LYON’S FULL PRESS CONFERENCE ABOVE
Lyon, who described his messy exit in 2011 as “unpalatable for all parties”, said he started at the Saints with a “blank canvas” as he takes the reins for the club’s 150th anniversary season in 2023.
Long billed as a defensive mastermind, the four-time grand final coach hinted he would install a game plan with attacking run-and-gun flair in line with recent premiership blueprints.
The Cats were transformed this season after loading up on outside runners including Bradley Close, Max Holmes and Norm Smith Medallist Isaac Smith.
The Saints best athletes include Bradley Hill, Mason Wood, Daniel McKenzie and sizzling teenager Jack Peris.
“One thing I do know these (St Kilda) boys can really run, so that gives us a capacity to play a brand that can go,” Lyon said.
“The game (in previous years) was stilted, the double guarding the mark. You had to go around and back and probe — now you can go, you can play an up tempo brand.
“We’re all chasing Geelong. It’s not like I’ve been sitting with the lens and analysing, but I know we can run.
“So the running game‘s here, and it’s here to stay, and Geelong took advantage of that.
“They were really strategic and identified even a couple of years ago we need to get some run in and support our stars.”
The Boss is back.#TogetherWeRosspic.twitter.com/SzgjCV5gto
But Lyon stressed he was appointed to drive a strong culture and didn’t want to “be in the weeds” of coaching.
“You aim for Nirvana — top four in both (defence and attack) — I think I achieved that a couple of times,” he said.
“But other times it was No. 1 defence (and) No. 8 attack, which wasn’t really good enough.
“You want to strike a balance. We‘ve got incredible development coaches in Damian Carroll with Jake Bachelor and we’ve got David Rath on board who’s a really good strategist.
“So the key is to really pick those guys up, work together.
“I don’t want to be in the weeds as much. If we’re not scoring I’ll blame those guys.”
Lyon sad he didn’t look at the list when deciding whether to accept the job.
“I see possibility in everyone, I give trust until it‘s broken then it’s hard,” he said.
“I didn’t look at the list when I got the job here (in 2007), I didn’t look at it when I went to Fremantle and I didn’t look at it here.
“Because if you get the right people making the right decision it can turn around quickly.”
Lyon is expected to appoint Robert Harvey or Brendon Goddard to the vacant assistant coaching role, with club legend Lenny Hayes and Geelong champion Corey Enright already locked in.
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Originally published as Confirmed: Ross Lyon returns as St Kilda coach
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