Riewoldt issues challenge to board - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riewoldt issues challenge to board

By Guy Hand 06/10/2007 12:15:06 AM Comments (0)

St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt has challenged his club's incoming board to deliver on its promises, and his teammates to deliver on their potential.

Riewoldt, who won his fourth Trevor Barker Award as the Saints' best and fairest player, used his acceptance speech to call for action at board level and a player-driven revolution to improve the club's on-field performance.

St Kilda president-elect Greg Westaway, who was handed power when president Rod Butterss and four of his board members resigned this week, decided not to use the best and fairest function as a political platform.

He said his group's plan would be outlined later.

Instead, Riewoldt played political force.

He challenged transport company boss Westaway and his incoming board, which will include former Saints players Nathan Burke and Andrew Thompson, to make good on their promise of change.

Among their promises are more funds to ensure a better resourced football department.

"You've talked the talk, now it's time to deliver on what you've said," Riewoldt said in his acceptance speech.

In a stirring speech, Riewoldt also demanded more of his teammates, urging them to take a leaf out of Geelong's book and springboard from finals hasbeens to premiership winners in 2008.

"We've really come to a fork in the road. The way I see it we were a competitive team this year, and that's about it," Riewoldt said.

"We can go one of two ways - we can be a competitive football team and hover around the mark, or we can go down the road to a premiership.

"Too often we let our mateship get in the way of the truth and it gets in the way of us doing and saying the things we need to do and say to win a premiership.

"Until we have everyone asking themselves honestly the question 'am I doing enough' and challenging each other on it, then we're not going to achieve what we want to achieve." Saints coach Ross Lyon said the players had held a meeting to outline their objectives for 2008, following on from a mid-2007 meeting in which they attempted to put right their second half of the season.

He also signalled a huge pre-season effort from the club when they return to training on November 5.

"We've recommitted to that aim of being a great team today, and we've acknowledged that premierships are won through November, December, January and February," Lyon said.

Riewoldt comfortably won the Trevor Barker Award, beating defender Sam Fisher and onballer Leigh Montagna.

The club also paid tribute to retiring players including Thompson, Fraser Gehrig, Brett Voss and Aaron Hamill.

Veteran Robert Harvey, who was sporting a cast on his left arm following post-season hand surgery, was also honoured for becoming the first Saints player to reach 350 AFL games.

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