Tag Archives: St. Kilda

One win wonders… The sorry tale of St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs

There are many fortunate clubs in the AFL. Clubs who have been successful over many years, winning premierships, getting big crowds to games, and off field operating profitably. However, one’s success always means another’s failure. There are two clubs who have been around for a long time, yet only enjoyed the ultimate success on one occasion each. These clubs being St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.

St Kilda

In 1897, St Kilda Football Club entered the Victorian Football League (VFL). Since then, they have made it through to the Grand Final on 8 occasions, with only the solitary premiership in 1966. After the 1971 Grand Final loss to Hawthorn they went until 1991 before making the finals again.  After the 1992 failed finals campaign, it wasn’t until 1997 when they had a chance to break their premiership drought. Here is the long list of failings since that dreadful day in ’97…

  • 1997: Grand Final Loss
  • 1998: Controversial sacking of Stan Alves
  • 1999-2000: Tim Watson coaching failure
  • 2000: A league record 26th Wooden Spoon
  • 2001: $1m coach Malcolm Blight signed then sacked after 15 rounds
  • 2004: Preliminary Final loss
  • 2005: Preliminary Final loss
  • 2006: Grant Thomas sacked, Ross Lyon signed
  • 2008: Preliminary Final loss
  • 2009: Grand Final Loss
  • 2010: Grand Final Draw
  • 2010: Grand Final Loss

4 Grand Finals, and 3 Preliminary Finals. And couldn’t win any of them! So we ask why? Why are St Kilda making it to at least the secondlast week of the season on a consistent basis, but not winning any premierships?

Western Bulldogs

In 1925, Footscray Football Club entered the VFL. Since then, they have made it through to the Grand Final on 2 occasions, and along with the Saints, they have only the one premiership.  Their only flag coming in 1954. The Bulldogs had a close call in 1989 when they almost merged with Fitzroy.

Footscray has always been a battling suburb, and with the ever-increasing costs in football, the club has found it hard to secure sponsors, members and supporters. After surviving the merger scare, the club started to improve in the 90s. The club changed its name from Footscray to the Western Bulldogs at the end of the 1996 season, and with this started an on-field resurgence.

However, the Bulldogs still haven’t been able to make it to a Grand Final since the loss to Hawthorn in 1961. Along with the Saints, 1997 was the start of a more consistent finals contender, yet, still no ultimate success…

  • 1997: Preliminary Final Loss
  • 1998: Preliminary Final Loss
  • 1999: Out of finals in straight sets
  • 2002: Terry Wallace quits as coach
  • 2003-2004: Peter Rhode’s Coaching failure
  • 2003: Wooden Spoon
  • 2005: Signing of Rodney Eade
  • 2008: Preliminary Final Loss
  • 2009: Preliminary Final Loss
  • 2010: Preliminary Final Loss

After 5 Preliminary Final losses in 14 seasons, the football world must start to wonder if the doggies will ever make it to another Grand Final!

Some may say, “At least we made it that far,” or they may think that making it to a Preliminary or Grand Final is successful. Perhaps it is that attitude that is the reason they can’t get over the line at the business end of the season.

So what’s the solution? Where to now for these two struggling clubs? Will they just keep losing every year when it counts? Or will something click into place and give the battlers of the competition some success?

The season is over for both clubs. I don’t think either team will make the finals, after making the top 4 in the last 3 seasons. I think it’s time for change at both clubs. Both coaches have been at the helm for some time, and as Geelong have proven this season, a fresh face, with a different structure, can rejuvenate a team, and give them the mental edge when the going gets tough. All is not lost. The Cats were also in a premiership drought for many years. Coming so close on many occasions without achieving the ultimate success. Both St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs need to have a close look at how things turned around at Kardinia Park.

There is always luck when it comes to winning premierships. Form, injuries, and everything else must fall into place at the right time. There is no harder task in footy than to go all the way and win on that last Saturday of the season. It requires a mental edge over your opponents, a winning game plan, and most importantly, a champion team. So when it comes to St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs, the problem isn’t the lack of champion players, the problem is the lack of a champion team. A history that has been unsuccessful, and a future that is uncertain.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” – Benjamin Franklin



St Kilda – The Lost Generation

The lost generation of St Kilda players seems to be hurting the Saints more than they thought. Having being pushed by a rebuilding Brisbane Lions, drawing to Richmond, and being demolished by Essendon, the Saints are looking down its list to a saviour, someone to step in and provide the spark that is desperately needed. Yet, I feel they have lost that player in their lost generation. Continue reading

AFL – Victorian Teams Preview


Who better to start this years AFL preview with than the premiers of last year and the NAB cup, Collingwood. After a stellar season in 2010 the pies have now become the hunted team in the competition and their cause has not been helped with the fact that no team has won back to back AFL premierships since Brisbane won three between 2001 and 2003. Continue reading

St. Kilda teenager, Kim Duthie, apologises

The teenager at the centre of the St Kilda scandal and Ricky Nixon debacle has once again surfaced, publishing a video on YouTube where she officially apologises to the St Kilda players involved. The video can be seen below – Continue reading

Ricky Nixon… The St. Kilda sex scandal continues.

The ongoing drama surrounding the 17 year-old girl at the centre of the St. Kilda Football Club sex and nude photos scandal has reached new heights after one of Australia’s leading player managers, Ricky Nixon, was exposed on CC TV footage leaving the girls Melbourne Hotel room on Valentine’s Day this week.

Nixon, the manager of numerous St. Kilda players who have also been involved in the ongoing scandal, including Nick Riewoldt, Sam Gilbert and Nick Dal Santo, publicly claimed that the 17 year-old girl in question was, “In a vulnerable state” after the scandal rocked St. Kilda in December 2010. Despite these claims, just two months later, Nixon has been caught at her hotel on Valentine’s Day, buying her alcohol. In addition to this, the 17-year-old girl has claimed that she and Nixon had an affair, on at least three occasions.

This isn’t the first controversy to hit Nixon, who once suffered severe concussion and fractures to his hands, arms and rib cage after slamming his Alfa Romeo sports car into the back of the tram on Swan St, Richmond, in March 2009. Nixon was charged by Police for leaving the crash scene and blowing 0.108, more than double the legal limit despite having the reading taken more than an hour after the crash. The timing of this scandal also highlighted a severe lack of professionalism, given he was handling confessed drug and alcohol user Ben Cousins’ much-hyped comeback with Richmond at the time of the crash.

Arguably the most high-profile sports agent in Australia, Nixon established his sports management company, Flying Start, in 1994 after a previous career as a Physical Education teacher. The company has since grown considerably and is now one of the leading sports management companies in Australia. It is also widely acknowledged as being a major leader in the innovative marketing of athletes, with Nixon being rated by The Age newspaper as the fourth most influential person of the past decade in the AFL.

Nixon’s work has helped educate players on the do’s and don’ts of being a professional athlete, he was once awarded the Australia Day Sports Medal for services to sport by the Prime Minister. His actions and professionalism in this latest scandal however are nothing short of disgraceful and once again highlights the disturbing culture which still exists within small circles of the AFL.

Nixon of all people should know better and it comes as no surprise that his athletes follow his lead.


… And we come back next week!

Wow! What a game.

With the AFL continually trying to penetrate new markets, today’s Grand Final will surely help their cause, it was simply brilliant. With the scoreline reading 68 apiece at the final siren, one would think it was a scrappy game, and it was at times. However despite this, the game of Australian Rules Football was the real winner today.

St.Kilda and Collingwood need to be commended for such a brilliant display of courage under extreme pressure. St.Kilda, having not won a flag since 1966, were down and out at half-time and showed amazing determination to get back into the contest and ultimately draw the game. Collingwood on the other hand, who’ve just one flag in 52 years themselves, also showed plenty of determination when they responded to kick one last goal after St.Kilda managed to grab the lead during the last quarter.

Viewers in foreign markets such as China, South Africa, Europe and America must have turned off their TV’s after the game thinking what an amazing sport we play down under, they must be tempted to get involved!

Keeping the on-field analysis of the game aside, the issue of the drawn game is one of increasing discussion, with many thinking the game needs to be determined through extra time and many others thinking the replay is perfect the way it is. To those thinking we need a decision via extra time, please consider this…

In 114 years of the VFL/AFL, there have been just three drawn Grand Finals. The drawn Grand Final, despite the initial feeling of emptiness from all involved, is an amazing part of the AFL and is nothing short of unique when it comes to determining the final outcome of a season of any sport in the world. With the continued rate of evolution in our game over the last few decades, there aren’t many traditions left. The drawn Grand Final and resulting replay next week is so unique, so unusual and so Australian, that we really need to keep it that way. Of course there’ll be doubters and critics who claim greed on behalf of the AFL, but take no notice of them… They’re probably just disgruntled fans eager for a result and when the dust settles, they’ll be raring to go again next week.

Kudos to both Collingwood and St.Kilda for such an amazing display of courage today and best of luck to all players and officials next week. With ten minutes of added time being played if the result is a draw next week, there’ll be a premier one way or another come 5:30pm Saturday. Fingers crossed it’s another amazing contest and the foreign viewers who eagerly tune in again next week further enhance their opinions of Australian Rules Football, our game.