Three-time All-Australian Nick Dal Santo says St Kilda assistant coach Brett Ratten has already made a big impression in the early stages of his tenure at Moorabbin.
Ratten left Hawthorn to take up a role at the Saints to provide under-pressure coach Alan Richardson some much needed support after a disastrous 2018 campaign which yielded just four-and-a-half wins.
Dal Santo also revealed the St Kilda playing group have enjoyed working with fellow assistant coach Brendon Lade, who arrived as part of a major shakeup to the club’s football department.
“One of the things I’m hearing from all sources and anyone that I speak to in regards to St Kilda, someone that has had a huge impact is Brett Ratten,” Dal Santo told SEN Breakfast.
“Now this pleases me a lot. Alan Richardson is obviously under some sort of pressure, he’s got a two-year contract still to go.
“You need all the support you can get when you’re a coach when you’ve got a young group, you’ve taken a step backwards in regards to the win/loss last year, people are looking at you to see what your brand of football is and how do we identify with St Kilda.
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“To be able to bring in someone like Brett Ratten, who has been at the top of a coaching tree at the Blues, then goes to Hawthorn and he’s been and done multiple roles, to then sit behind Alastair Clarkson and to learn about that culture and the way they play their football and then come to the Saints – I have not heard one bad word about him and I love that already about Brett Ratten.
“The playing group respect him. Alan Richardson went overseas to America and Brett Ratten takes the reins along with Brendon Lade.
“I’m happy with what I’ve heard from the playing group about those two coaches in particular.”
St Kilda open their 2019 campaign against Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on the 24th of March.