Brett Ratten is set to be announced as St Kilda’s new coach. Picture: David Crosling
Brett Ratten is set to be announced as St Kilda’s new coach. Picture: David Crosling

Ratten has unfinished business as Saints coach

BRETT Ratten feels like he has a feeling of unfinished business in senior coaching as he prepares for his second tilt at a top job.

Ratten is the new, full-time St Kilda coach after the caretaker had his appointment ratified by the club's board on Thursday night.

Ratten, 48, was odds-on to succeed Alan Richardson after reinvigorating the club with three wins from his first four matches in charge.

 

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He faced the media on Friday morning after the club went public with its news on social media.

The 48-year-old - who coached Carlton between mid-2007 and 2012 before a triple-premiership stint at Hawthorn as an assistant coach - said he felt better placed given his previous experience.

But he had feared his second chance may never come again.

"There's only 18 jobs out there, and it's tough," he said.

"I think you've just got to keep pushing and driving yourself personally. I'm very fortunate to come to St Kilda and get that opportunity.

"It was one of those dreams that I thought maybe if I got into my 50s (it wouldn't happen) … but then Fages (Chris Fagan) went up to Brisbane and I thought, 'Ooh, he's kept the fire burning a bit deeper'. I'm very lucky."

He said the biggest learning would be to treat his people "about the whole person, not just about footy".

Ratten took over in Round 18 and has been active at the club in the past fortnight, conducting exit interviews and planning for 2020.

The former Carlton captain has earned his second coming as a senior coach seven years after he was sacked by the Blues.

He is the third caretaker coach to secure the permanent post after North Melbourne locked in Rhyce Shaw and Carlton signed David Teague.

Friday's announcement will leave Fremantle as the only club in the market for a senior coach after Ross Lyon was sacked after round 22.

Ratten spent five years working under Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn before crossing to the Saints this season amid a declaration he still harboured hopes of another senior position.

The Saints wanted to lock in their new coach before Wednesday night's best-and-fairest.

Brett Ratten enjoyed success as interim coach and was warmly accepted by his players. Picture: Getty Images
Brett Ratten enjoyed success as interim coach and was warmly accepted by his players. Picture: Getty Images

"I've made no secret of my desire to coach again, but to be given an opportunity with this group is really special," Ratten said.

"We have a strong core of talented young players who are determined to drive the club forward.

"As I acknowledged after round 23, we know there are areas that we have to improve, and that will be the focus this off-season.

"I'm honoured to be the coach of the St Kilda Football Club, and I thank them for the opportunity.

"I want to specifically acknowledge my family; it's their unwavering support and encouragement that's allowed me to take on this role.

"I also want to thank Saints fans for their support, especially over the past two months.

"We will do everything in our power to make you proud, and we look forward to sharing this journey with you."

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