Defeated Saints given brutal ultimatum - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Defeated Saints given brutal ultimatum

By Daniel Brettig 27/09/2009 06:21:10 AM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyons has delivered a brutal ultimatum to his players following their narrow AFL grand final loss to Geelong.

Noticeably raising his voice as he addressed the Saints at their grand final night function, Lyon's ultimatum was patently clear - if you can't redouble your 2009 efforts next year, you can leave the club.

Amid a sea of glum faces and promises of greater things from the Saints following their latest failure to add to the club's sole premiership won in 1966, Lyon's passionate words stood out for their clarity.

They also diverged from those of captain Nick Riewoldt, who declared St Kilda a "great club" after a season in which they won 22 of 25 matches.

"I need to know who's going to come back as committed, who's going to work as hard," Lyon said.

"If you can't do it, come and see me and I'll move you on.

"That goes for every player on the list. If you can't give the commitment shown this year, and you don't want to improve, you can go, because we've got unfinished business.

"We need to improve, we're not a great club yet, we're a good to very good club, but the greatness is on the horizon if we all work hard enough.

"We certainly shouldn't be sitting here with an inner glow or a satisfaction with the result that happened today, because I know in myself I certainly haven't.

"I've got real pride in what was delivered today with the effort, but we walk away not achieving what we wanted to achieve.

"Rest assured we'll work hard, we'll drive each other, we'll improve, and at some point in time this club will deliver on what it needs to."

Riewoldt spoke with a pained expression but felt compelled to assure teammates and supporters that his team was on equal footing with the Cats, who only last year lost the grand final at the end of a season of dominance.

"Geelong were in the same situation 12 months ago, and they were able to come out and achieve the ultimate today," Riewoldt said.

"We're at the same level, they've played in the last three grand finals and won two, we're at the same level.

"We're a great football club, we're a great team."

Saints president Greg Westaway also called on the Geelong example to show how St Kilda could rise from the trauma of defeat.

"We do have to get that holy grail," he said.

"Let me put it to you this way, Geelong were the best team all year last year and they won this year.

"We were the best team all year this year, we will win next year."

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