Malthouse hits back at Saints over Ball - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse hits back at Saints over Ball

By Roger Vaughan and Melissa Woods 05/02/2010 08:27:22 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has hit back at St Kilda and their captain Nick Riewoldt over Luke Ball's transfer between the AFL clubs.

Malthouse said he had a lot of respect for Riewoldt, but has questioned why the Saints skipper made his comments earlier this week about Ball.

Riewoldt said it was "disappointing" Ball left the Saints and said the midfielder had knocked back a contract before going to the Magpies.

Riewoldt also later said he would not describe his comments as strong, but honest.

On Friday, Malthouse countered by suggesting that Ball knew he was not wanted any more at the Saints.

After the Saints and Collingwood failed to reach a trade deal on Ball, he went to the Magpies in the national draft.

"I had a massive amount of respect for Nick Riewoldt and listening to that it makes you wonder where it's coming from," Malthouse told SEN.

"He (Ball) just didn't jump ship ... it's so hard to get players to move clubs.

"He would have agonised over this and being the kind of person he is he would have agonised long and hard and it wouldn't have come as an easy choice.

"He would have agonised and come to the realisation that perhaps under the circumstances of his last year ... and players always know when they're wanted and if they're not wanted, it means really they should move on."

Malthouse added that Ball did not want to be involved in a slanging match with his former club.

The Magpies coach strongly defended the midfielder, saying he had given a great deal to the Saints.

"He's only got great memories of St Kilda and he'll retain those great memories because he has been a captain, he has been a player who's bled for the football club, he's been injured playing and got out there and still played, he's got a lot friends back there," Malthouse said.

"He doesn't want to make an issue of it, and that's the way it should be.

"In football it's a short part of your life overall, it's massive while you're doing it and he just wants people at St Kilda to know that he gave his all and now he's moving on."

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