Saints’ sights set on their man, set to sign Ratten to new deal

St Kilda are set to hand Brett Ratten a new contract, with negotiations about to start on a new deal for the senior coach.

The Saints view Ratten as a long-term coach and sources familiar with his situation said the club will sit down soon with his management to discuss the terms of a new contract for the coach, who is likely to seek the security of a three-year deal.

St Kilda is set to lock in coach Brett Ratten.Credit:Getty Images

St Kilda first signed Ratten for three years back in 2019, when he took over as caretaker coach and then coached the club into the top six in 2020 before they fell to 10th last year. This season they have risen dramatically to a 7-3 record.

The Saints have been happy not only with Ratten, but with their whole coaching panel – including highly regarded ex-Hawthorn assistant and AFL game analysis head David Rath and former Richmond assistant Brendon Lade – and their football department set-up managed by Simon Lethlean, who will take over as chief executive from Matt Finnis later this year.

Ratten had entered this season without a contract and clearly had to see improvement on on 2021 to be assured of retaining his position in a coaching marketplace that includes Alastair Clarkson and has a number of coaches long into their tenures.

The Saints say that improved player availability in 2022, compared to last year’s injury-hit list, has been the most obvious difference between their 10-win season in 2021 and this year’s rise towards the top four.

Regaining the talented playmaker Jade Gresham, who missed most of 2021 with an achilles injury, and the improvement of prospective superstar key forward Max King, Jack Sinclair, Brad Hill, Brad Crouch, Callum Wilkie and Jack Higgins, among others, has been instrumental.

While Ratten is sure to seek security and better pay in his new deal, the terms of contracts for senior coaches are often heavily incentive-based, with clubs also protecting themselves from hefty payouts. Senior coaches and their assistants also had their pay cut during 2020 when the pandemic hit the game’s finances hard, under a football department soft cap that was slashed by more than a third.

Ratten, like Michael Voss, has thrived so far in his second stint as a senior coach, having been sacked after five full seasons at his old club Carlton, where he coached the Blues into finals in three consecutive seasons, from 2009 until 2011, before his removal in 2012 after an 11-win season. He was replaced by Mick Malthouse.

Ratten enhanced his credentials and viability by crossing to Hawthorn to work under Alastair Clarkson during the Hawks’ premiership three-peat and was subsequently hired under Alan Richardson, whom he took over from as caretaker in 2019 before winning the permanent job.

Ratten’s experiences as coach at Carlton has seen him delegate more effectively at St Kilda, having overreached into areas such as fitness and recruiting in his time with the Blues.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article