Lyon lays down the law to Lovett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lyon lays down the law to Lovett

By Roger Vaughan 25/11/2009 03:18:14 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon has issued a blunt warning to new recruit Andrew Lovett, saying the AFL club is not a babysitting service.

Lyon is giving the former Essendon midfielder another chance to prove himself after the worst-possible start at his new club.

Lovett was arrested for public drunkenness on November 14.

The speedy midfielder came to the Saints after a chequered career at the Bombers, where he was suspended for poor off-field discipline.

The Saints certainly knew the risks when they traded for Lovett, having spoken to key Essendon figures James Hird, Matthew Lloyd and former fitness coach John Quinn.

But Lyon was still surprised - along with furious - when he received the phone call about Lovett's arrest.

Lovett joined his new team-mates on Wednesday morning at the first day of St Kilda's pre-season training.

"We went through the background and we were au fait with things that had occurred in the past, but in saying that, there was nothing in the history that really scared us," Lyon said.

"Everything was on top of the table ... we were really confident that the working environment and the way that all our players go about it, that Andrew would really grow.

"It hasn't had an opportunity to take effect yet, in a real sense - over a period of time, we're happy to be judged and (for) Andrew to be judged.

"Certainly from here, he's under no illusions ... in simple terms, we're not a babysitting service, we're about self-directed and motivated athletes and Andrew is confident from here he can buy into that."

Lyon also moved to defend Lovett, saying a suggestion in the media the player had been wandering the streets before his arrest was wrong.

"It was reported he was wandering aimlessly, he was at a private party, the music was on, the police came, he went outside and obviously stepped out of line and was put in the divvy van," Lyon said.

"He certainly wasn't wandering aimlessly as a hopeless drunk down the street, so let's clear that up."

But Lyon was unimpressed with Lovett's condition when he turned up to a running time trial last week.

"Certainly his preparation didn't allow him to be at his best, we hope from there he'll go forward," Lyon said.

While Lovett has made a rocky start, Lyon is upbeat about the Saints in the wake of their outstanding season and narrow grand final loss to Geelong.

"The big themes are the same - pursue excellence, train hard, player availability and improve our footy," Lyon said.

"We know everyone is coming for Geelong and us, obviously, and the Bulldogs.

"We feel like we've added a bit with Lovett and (Brett) Peake.

"We're happy to talk about Lovett, let's talk about (David) Armitage and Jack Steven and (Ben) McEvoy smacking the running, (Jarryn) Geary and (Andrew) Eddy."

Lyon added nine senior players had needed post-season surgery and the side was in "good nick" for pre-season training.

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