AAP AFL

Riewoldt backs Saints’ AFL call on coach

By AAP Newswire

St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt has backed the parting of ways with coach Alan Richardson, saying they are impatient for their second AFL premiership.

Riewoldt and current captain Jarryn Geary have heaped praise on Richardson after he left the club.

But Riewoldt added it is the right time, with six games left this season.

"We're talking about a club that's really impatient for success," Riewoldt told AFL360.

"That doesn't detract from the fact that he's a great person with a lot of great qualities, but clearly the club is right to be impatient and want success and want it now.

"Based on the body of work, it's the right move for the club."

The Saints never made the finals in Richardson's six-year tenure and Riewoldt said last season, when they slumped badly, undoubtedly was a crucial factor in the coach's eventual departure.

"This year, I think he's performed really well as a coach, not just what we've seen on the field, but the way he's handled the heat and the scrutiny," he said.

"Last year is the ultimately the year that's ended up costing him."

Richardson rang Geary to break the news on Monday night.

"He's been so good for the group, so positive and so professional about the way he's gone about this challenging period," Geary said.

"I wasn't shocked about the conversation, but taken aback it was happening so abruptly.

"I can't speak highly enough of Richo, I've loved playing under him."