Don’t write Nick off yet
WRITE off Nick Riewoldt’s AFL future at your peril, warns St Kilda boss Matt Finnis.
The Saints star is in ongoing talks with the club about whether he continues beyond this season and there is plenty of speculation about what might happen.
Riewoldt has played 332 games, second only to former teammate Robert Harvey. St Kilda also must make a call later this year on fellow veteran Leigh Montagna, who is on 286 games.
“Certainly, we’re in regular dialogue with Nick and Joey and their management,” Finnis said.
“It’s a conversation that’s happening around us, but the most important conversation is happening in the four walls of our footy club.
“Nick has been a champion for a long time and anyone who is quick to write him off would be making a pretty hazardous guess.”
Finnis says there are a lot of factors to weigh up with Riewoldt – his physical and mental state, how the team is developing and what next year looks like for the Saints.
“There is no such,” he said.
“Like all clubs, our list management committee starts to timeline as meet more regularly this time of year. So we will weigh up all the factors that need to be considered in this decision.
“There’s still over a quarter of the season to go and we won’t be rushed into making a decision.”
Meanwhile, Finnis has endorsed two key Saints officials as potential replacements after last week’s sudden departures from AFL House. The league’s football operations manager Simon Lethlean and commercial boss Richard Simkiss have left because of extramarital relationships with junior colleagues.
The early speculation is that Saints list manager Ameet Bains will be a strong candidate to take over Lethlean’s job. When asked about Bains, Finnis added he hoped Saints commercial manager Christine Finnegan would be considered to replace Simkiss.
“We have some great people at our footy club and it would be a good thing if the AFL considers the great talent coming through the ranks, both in clubs, but also across the broader industry,” Finnis said.
Earlier yesterday, the Saints announced midfielder Jack Sinclair had re- signed until the end of 2019.