The “inevitable” dismissal of St Kilda coach Scott Watters took place on Friday after club officials decided to move in another direction.
Watters was fired with a season remaining on the three-year deal he signed to replace now Fremantle coach Ross Lyon after the 2011 season.
Described as an “inevitable” move by league insiders, the decision to axe Watters came at a confusing time. The AFL off-season is well and truly underway with free agency having ended a week earlier. Just hours prior to the shock dismissal, Watters made an appearance on Melbourne radio and denied any in-house rift with the playing group or football manager Chris Pelchen, saying he had the full support of Saints president Peter Summers.
“When a (club) president sits with you and says we see you as a long term coach that’s enough for me, I’ll get on with work, with business,” Watters said on SEN Friday morning.
Summers denied the SEN interview had played a role in the firing at a press conference this afternoon after AFL.com.au reported Watters had not received permission to make the media appearance.
Odd speculation has also arisen suggesting senior star players may have been involved in the decision.
“I wouldn’t like to talk about specifics or his (Nick Riewoldt’s) role in this,” Summers said when asked about Riewoldt’s involvement in the process.
“I’d prefer not to talk about who was consulted or who wasn’t consulted but Nick Riewoldt, Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna are champions of this football club and in the business of football and I’d prefer to leave it at that.”
Atop of the list of replacement candidates is said to be former club champion Robert Harvey. The St Kilda games record holder (383) has experience as an assistant with Carlton, St Kilda and Collingwood in recent seasons. His ability to communicate his message to the players and implement tactical strategies was supposedly held in high regard with the Magpies.
Also in the mix are Leigh Tudor and Mark Williams.
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