St Kilda have brought in veteran administrator Geoff Walsh to help bring the club out of ‘degree of irrelevance’.
Following another disappointing on-field season which saw the Saints start 8-2 before bowing out and missing the finals for the second consecutive year, Walsh is hoping to restore some faith and structure.
Holding keys roles at Collingwood and North Melbourne in recent times, Walsh brings in 35 years of experience and will oversee the men’s football program including coaching, high performance and conditioning, strategy and recruitment, according to St Kilda.
Walsh’s appointment at the Kangaroos saw the sacking of David Noble, with the latter joining the Saints as part of the review team only weeks later.
Ironically – Walsh will now join Noble and St Kilda in its full-club review.
Footy is a funny world.
Geoff Walsh goes into North Melbourne to oversee a review that leads to David Noble’s sacking.
Only weeks later, Noble appointed to a panel to review St Kilda that finds it needs a senior leader and the club settles on… Geoff Walsh
— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) October 4, 2022
The Saints, who will celebrate their 150th year in 2023, is suffering the competition’s longest premiership drought, dating back to its sole flag in 1966 (56 years).
Walsh won’t shy away from the hard conversations and decisions in order to take the club forward, according to SEN.
“One of the things I can bring to the table is to make a hard call or to have a hard conversation,” Walsh said.
“To not walk past something if you see it and you know it’s wrong, I’m willing to call it out.
“This might sound abrasive and the Saints fans might get upset, but one of the things that I think when asked about how I see St Kilda, I think the competition would say there’s been a degree of irrelevance.
“That should be abrasive, that should sort of choke down peoples’ throats, and I hope moving forward that I can contribute to a profile that gives the Saints the due respect that they crave.”
Walsh’s aim is to “inject top-end talent” into St Kilda in a bid to support the current crop of players.
“One of the things the Saints need to do over this trade and draft period and the next, and even the next, is an injection of top-end talent,” Walsh said.
“They’ve got a lot of good players. I think that they would really do well and benefit from the injection of some top-end talent.
“That’s one of the things that I think will help them up the road.”
After missing out on Jordan De Goey, the club has looked at Gold Coast’s Jack Bowes (and pick seven) as well as Western Bulldogs’ Zaine Cordy, who has signed as an unrestricted free agent.
However, Ben Long and Hunter Clark could depart the club in a bid for a fresh start, with rival clubs circling the duo.