New St Kilda coach Ross Lyon has moved to quash claims club great Nick Riewoldt played a role in his return to the senior coaching ranks.
Lyon was appointed as St Kilda coach this week and announced as Brett Ratten’s successor on Monday, ending a hiatus from the club that lasted more than a decade.
Riewoldt had been one of several advocates of a potential coaching return for Lyon in recent years as a host of jobs became available.
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Lyon reveals why he returned to coaching | 00:41
During Monday’s press conference Lyon was asked about Riewoldt’s involvement in his ascension to the job and denied any involvement from the club champion.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast on Tuesday, Lyon doubled down on those comments.
“There was a lot of talk about Nick and his influence in this, the first time I spoke to Nick was the middle of this week and he rang from Texas and he was like ‘Oh my God’,” Lyon said.
“I knew he always wanted me to coach and those things but there’s no fingerprints from my end with Nick Riewoldt on this, I think I’ve got to make that really clear.
“I almost wanted to chirp up at the press conference.”
St Kilda president Andrew Bassat said the decision to sack Ratten with two years remaining on his contract was necessary as the club looked to strengthen its foundations and achieve more sustainable success.
Incoming football boss Geoff Walsh said earlier this month the Saints had been suffering from a “degree of irrelevance”, which he wanted to rectify.
That train of thought was echoed by Lyon, who revealed a jibe he received after this year’s Grand Final.
“I’m standing there (at the September Club) and a bloke walks up and says, ‘you know that stat of (Patrick) Dangerfield and St Kilda?’” he recalled.
“I said, ‘what are you talking about’, and he said, ‘Dangerfield’s played in as many finals as St Kilda has in its history’.
“I was like, ‘oh will you piss off’… it really irked me, and there was a little bit about them being irrelevant.”