Saints back Milne, Montagna - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints back Milne, Montagna

By Roger Vaughan 23/06/2010 03:41:53 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon has told Stephen Milne and Leigh Montagna to concentrate on their football ahead of Friday night's AFL grand final re-match.

Milne and Montagna are in the spotlight after two former detectives publicly questioned the initial police investigation six years ago into a rape accusation.

Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland said this week the case could be reopened.

"Obviously it's not ideal, but we're industry professionals and we represent 40,000 magnificent members," Lyon said on Wednesday.

"We have a game ... against last year's premiers to help us focus.

"All of us are feeling a range of emotions, but ultimately we have to use them as a stimulus to continue to focus on our preparation as best we can.

"Clearly, there are a couple of players under the microscope here, but they have our full support and we've encouraged them to continue to focus on their football."

Lyon stressed it was currently a matter for the police.

"Nothing has changed from St Kilda's perspective, the investigation will take place, it will conclude, let's not make any assumptions based on allegations," he said.

Lyon was asked whether he had considered resting Milne or Montagna from Friday's big match.

"You're making assumptions about how they're feeling - what they are, they're committed to their careers," he said.

"All that's going on is an internal police investigation - at the minute, it has nothing to do with St Kilda."

It is the latest in a string of issues to hit the Saints since the summer.

Former captain Luke Ball made a controversial switch to Collingwood, while former Essendon midfielder Andrew Lovett was sacked without playing a game after he was charged with rape.

The AFL and the club cleared two Saints players of wrongdoing after allegations one of them had made a teenage girl pregnant.

Also, captain Nick Riewoldt has been out since round three with a hamstring tendon injury.

But they are second with a 9-3 record and will soon welcome back Riewoldt.

"Certainly since the summer, we've worked our way through a few issues," Lyon said.

"Plenty of people are prepared to say that will stop us and our ability to play some good football, but ... we've worked our way to 9-3.

"We're here to focus on our footy, I've been proud of the group, their ability to stick together, work together, not make any incorrect judgments and focus on their footy.

"Whatever the distraction may be, we just use it as a stimulus."

Milne, 30, and Montagna, 26, were the subject of a police investigation for two months after an alleged incident involving two women in March 2004.

Milne and Montagna, who denied the allegations, were interviewed by police but never charged.

Police said there was insufficient evidence to charge the pair on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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