Lyon rapt with Saints' start to summer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lyon rapt with Saints' start to summer

By Adam Cooper 04/12/2009 07:38:27 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon is delighted with his players' fitness and says he has detected a determination among them as they seek to avenge their AFL grand final loss to Geelong.

Lyon has just re-signed to coach the Saints for three more seasons after he and the club agreed to replace his current contract with one that ties him to St Kilda until the end of 2012.

While Lyon and chief executive Michael Nettlefold were announcing the new deal on Friday, almost all the Saints' players were outside running and in good physical shape.

Lyon said nine players had recorded personal-best times in a recent time trial, and that only one player - draft recruit Jesse Smith, who experienced his share of injuries at North Melbourne - was not running.

Among those training well is skipper Nick Riewoldt, who endured his share of knee soreness towards the end of the season.

"I thought they came back in sensational condition and there's a quiet determination to do the work and play Saints footy again in 2010," Lyon said.

"It's a reasonably healthy position.

"The plan in the next three weeks is to fly out to the Gold Coast camp and ... that will give the exclamation marks in this conditioning phase and after the Christmas break we'll come back and really ramp it up incredibly quickly."

Under Lyon the Saints finished ninth in 2007, reached a preliminary final in 2008 and last season won the minor premiership but were pipped by the Cats in the season decider.

Having topped up their list with Smith, Andrew Lovett, Brett Peake and Adam Pattison from other clubs, Lyon said St Kilda's aim in 2010 would be to become a "great team" and land St Kilda their second premiership.

"The aim is to win a premiership, which everyone in the competition (aspires to)," he said.

"Our whole focus is to be a great team and we feel we got a lot closer to that in `09, but we certainly didn't tick all the boxes we needed to.

"We all start equal (in 2010), but we're confident in the game plan and the work we need to do."

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