Saints great Brendon Goddard says the current players at the club “don’t know what a successful culture looks like” after another disappointing year where it missed finals for a second-straight season despite sitting in the top four after Round 11.
St Kilda in the aftermath undertook a review and subsequently appointed veteran football administrator Geoff Walsh as its new footy boss in moves supported by Goddard to help it try and bounce back next season.
And Goddard, despite making 205 of his 334 AFL appearances for St Kilda during the prime playing days including making two grand finals and claiming two All-Australian blazers, even revealed he now sees himself more as an Essendon person, where he played the final six years of his career.
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“We (St Kilda) created a really good culture and we’re proud of it, and yeah, you probably say it’s dissipated because the people that were involved in the club at that particular time, there’s not too many of them left,” he said on AFL Trade Radio.
“Hence when people ask me if I’m an Essendon man or St Kilda, I probably lean towards Essendon. One because I’m recently retired from there, but a lot of the people I was involved with at the end of my career are still at Essendon, particularly the players.
“And so the whole St Kilda organisation has completely changed (since I was there) … it’s changed a lot and I think they do need to improve that culture.
“Respectfully to a lot of the people and players involved – particularly the players – they don’t know what a successful culture looks like because they haven’t been a part of it just yet.”
It comes as the only moves St Kilda has made so far this trade period is adding Western Bulldogs defender Zaine Cordy and moving Ben Long to Gold Coast, having missed out on free agents Jordan De Goey and Karl Amon.
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As such Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes believes it’ll go down as a wasted opportunity for the Saints to bolster their list in hopes of climbing up the ladder in 2023.
“They would be a club that I’d be worried about throughout this trade period. Speaking a reasonable game prior to the opening of the trade period with De Goey and others, and their desperate need to get elite talent in,” Cornes said on AFL Trade Radio.
“It doesn’t feel like St Kilda are going to be able to achieve much in this trade period, which is a little bit depressing for those Saints fans looking to improve next year.”
Three-time Coleman medallist Matthew Lloyd concurred with Goddard’s views on St Kilda, and thinks his own former team, Essendon, is in a similar bracket.
“I think everything Brendon said there was correct – a lot of them wouldn’t know what winning culture is – and I say the same about Essendon,” Lloyd said.
“We sit here and (Ollie) Henry, (Tanner) Bruhn) and (Jack) Bowes want to go to Geelong. St Kilda isn’t an attractive place, Essendon’s not an attractive place.
“There’s a lot of clubs in that same boat as we sit here now, but that can change in the years to come.”