No Gold Coast AFL return for Riewoldt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No Gold Coast AFL return for Riewoldt

By Crystal Ja 27/06/2008 03:29:17 PM Comments (0)

Saints skipper Nick Riewoldt has given his strongest assurance yet that he won't be swapping the beach at St Kilda for those on the Gold Coast anytime soon.

Riewoldt, who was brought up on the Gold Coast and played his junior football for Southport, is back in town for Saturday night's AFL finals-defining clash with North Melbourne.

He and likely coach Michael Voss have been touted as the dream ticket to front the new Gold Coast team which is set to enter the competition in 2011.

But asked whether he had any serious thoughts about returning north, Riewoldt was adamant.

"No, no, not at all," he told reporters.

"I'm forced to think about it because you guys constantly ask me about it, that's why I think about it.

"(But like) I've said all the time, it's great to be up here this weekend, but it's only good to be here because I'm with my St Kilda teammates."

Riewoldt, who was the first Queenslander ever drafted at No.1 back in 2000, said he was "absolutely" committed to securing a premiership with the Saints.

The winner of Saturday night's clash between the eighth-placed Kangaroos and ninth-ranked Saints will claim eighth spot on the ladder.

St Kilda will field a strengthened side, with Justin Koschitzke returning from a knee injury, while Nick Dal Santo and Stephen Milne have been recalled to the seniors after being dropped last week.

Riewoldt said it had been an emotionally testing time for the Saints, who beat Fremantle last weekend in a dour affair at Telstra Dome.

"It was emotionally a tough week but it was also a very positive week (because) we had three debutants come into the team and perform exceptionally well," he said.

"(Dal Santo and Milne) gave 100 per cent last week and they worked really hard to get back into the team and we welcome them back with open arms."

Riewoldt won't be the only local to take the field at Carrara, with Kangaroos ruck-forward David Hale also wanting to record a win on "home" soil.

"Whoever wins takes a step forward I think, it's a pretty big game," the former Broadbeach player said.

"It definitely feels like home (and) obviously we've got a bit of experience, (whereas) St Kilda haven't played up here.

"Hopefully we can use that to our advantage."

North has made just one change from the team which downed high-flying Hawthorn last week, replacing Ed Lower with Sam Power.

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