Lucas hopes to re-sign Riewoldt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lucas hopes to re-sign Riewoldt

Sam Lienert 20/05/2011 03:16:47 PM Comments (0)

With disgraced AFL player agent Ricky Nixon out of the picture, his re-badged management company has refused to give up on retaining Nick Riewoldt and other star players.

Sold by Nixon on Tuesday, the company has changed its name from Flying Start to Phoenix Management, which incoming general manager Scott Lucas acknowledged was a deliberate attempt to shed the baggage left by his predecessor.

"It was important to distance ourselves from Flying Start due to some of the goings-on previously," former Essendon premiership forward Lucas said.

"We're a new company, new people involved and it's exciting looking forward to the future."

The Flying Start name has already been torn down from the entrance to the company's office at Etihad Stadium, but Lucas said he was yet to talk to clients to gauge how much professional damage was done by the tawdry episode involving teenage girl Kim Duthie that forced Nixon's exit.

Despite speculation that Riewoldt is quitting the management company and several other stars also want out, Lucas said no player had yet told Phoenix they were leaving.

But he acknowledged that Riewoldt - one of the victims of the nude photo scandal sparked by Duthie - had reason for lingering ill feeling.

"It's fair to suggest there would be some baggage associated with that, that's something we need to work through with both Nick and everyone else," Lucas said.

"I don't have any indication of Nick's mindset at the moment. I certainly read the papers like everyone else.

"But until I sit down with him and have that discussion - and I would hope he would be open-minded about what we have to offer - but until I do that, I wouldn't like to speculate on that.

"If we lose him, we have one less player to deal with, but we'd like to think that that won't happen."

Fellow Saints stars Nick Dal Santo and Sam Gilbert, who were also caught up in the nude photo scandal, also reportedly want to find a new management company.

Lucas said retaining star players was important in holding onto and attracting others.

But he said from the few Nixon clients he had talked to before taking on the job at Phoenix, he had gained confidence that most players would be prepared to put aside the saga that led to the company changing hands.

"I've briefly chatted to two or three players through my dealings outside of this role," Lucas said.

"They're aware of that, but I think players look forward to the future and that's how they have to approach that.

"Their general philosophies around that, I think if we move on, present to them what we've got to offer, then we can certainly do very well."

Lucas said while he is yet to obtain his management accreditation - which he plans to remedy quickly - and has no previous experience in the role, the empathy his 270-game career with the Bombers will allow him to have with players is something clients will value.

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