SAINTS APPOINT RICHARDSON AS AFL COACH
Thursday, 14 November 2013:
Alan Richardson has been appointed as the new coach of AFL club St Kilda, replacing the sacked Scott Watters.
Richardson, 48, said it was a "great honour" to earn an AFL senior coaching position.
"The direction the club has already started taking in terms of the list is something that really excites me," he said.
Richardson has been strongly praised by Port coach Ken Hinkley after the Power surged from 14th last year to fifth in 2013 in Richardson's first season at the club as director of coaching.
A former assistant at Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and Western Bulldogs, the tough defender played 114 games for the Magpies and missed the 1990 grand final through injury.
Richardson, who was overlooked for the St Kilda job two years ago when the Saints opted for Scott Watters, had initially told Port he was not interested in applying for the Saints' job again.
However by Wednesday morning informed the Port management he had reconsidered his position.
Richmond senior development coach Mark Williams, who guided Port to their only AFL flag in 2004, had previously been favoured for the top job at St Kilda.
But it's understood the Saints baulked at Williams' request for a five-year contract.
The Saints finished third-last in 2013 with a 5-17 win-loss record and will have three top-20 picks in the November 21 national draft including pick three.
"Culturally we want to make sure we're a really competitive, aggressive and hard-working footy team," said Richardson, who agreed to a three-year deal with the Saints.
"I've always had aspirations to coach my own team."
St Kilda president Peter Summers said the Saints board interviewed a number of applicants, before ratifying the decision to appoint Richardson.
"Our new coach comes with a wealth of experience," said Summers.
Richardson said Port Adelaide chairman David Koch had been "very understanding" about his decision to leave the Power just one year into a three-year contract.
Earlier on Thursday, Koch said Port could match any financial offer made by the Saints.
"Our view is it's the start of the pre-season," said Koch.
"Yes, St Kilda are a club in turmoil, well sort it out, don't spread that to us."