Lovett wants fresh start with Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lovett wants fresh start with Saints

07/10/2009 05:06:05 PM Comments (0)

Moving across Melbourne is enough of an AFL change for new St Kilda midfielder Andrew Lovett, who says he wants to "start afresh".

After walking out on Essendon, Lovett seriously considered more lucrative offers from Port Adelaide and Brisbane before choosing the Saints.

The pacy midfielder has been through some well-documented personal troubles during his time at Essendon.

Last year, Saints captain Nick Riewoldt was caught sledging Lovett during a match about a domestic incident.

But Riewoldt was one of the Saints personnel who eventually convinced Lovett to join the 2009 runners-up.

"It was definitely on the cards ... I was close to Brisbane and Port Adelaide," Lovett said.

"But ultimately, as (Saints coach Ross Lyon) said, the chance to be at a successful team and a lot of my friends and family are in Melbourne, (that's) over-ridden all of that.

"I thought so at times, the opportunity to start afresh in a different place.

"But I can do all that here in a different club and start here on a clean slate.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity and the chance to play in a great side."

Lyon revealed that Riewoldt and Saints vice-captain Lenny Hayes met with Lovett.

The Saints also consulted big-name former Essendon figures Kevin Sheedy, James Hird, Matthew Lloyd and John Quinn.

St Kilda gave up their first-round No.16 draft pick in the trade.

"It's an X-factor - a proven goal kicker, plenty of pace and skill and he improves our kicking skills," Lyon said.

"We're really keen to provide a good environment, we did a lot of due diligence.

"Nick and Lenny sat down with Andrew, we met twice and spoke to Lloyd, Hird and Sheedy, John Quinn.

"We're really happy with the responses and the feedback."

Lyon presented Lovett with his St Kilda jumper on Wednesday and the onballer said it felt "surreal" to be at his new club.

Asked what he can offer the Saints, Lovett replied: "pace and skill and that extra player up forward if needed to snag a few goals ... if I play in that position; just a bit of extra run and carry."

Lyon also made it clear that Lovett faces a lot of hard work

"From here it's going to be about the actions, we don't want to talk too much," Lyon said.

"Andrew will come to a good pre-season and earn his spot in the team.

"Nothing will be gifted, but we will provide every opportunity and resource for Andrew to play his best footy.

"We think it's in front of him at 27 - he was a late starter and we were both northern suburbs boys from our Preston/Reservoir (days)."

Lyon revealed that the AFL club was yet to reach a deal with Collingwood over midfielder Luke Ball.

The former Saints captain has nominated the Magpies as his preferred destination.

Lyon says it is a simple matter of a fair deal and he has added the Saints are demanding a quality player from Collingwood for the deal to go through.

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