Former Saints coach Grant Thomas has urged St Kilda to bring Luke Beverage home to Moorabbin. Beverage played 45 games for the Saints before retiring in 1999 where he was recruited by his father in 1996 before becoming the Bulldogs’ head coach in 2015.
Thomas, speaking to the Herald Sun, said Beveridge could be just what the Saints need.
“I tell you what, I would take Luke Beveridge (as Saints coach) for a decade,” he said.
“I would do that … 100 per cent. (I’d say) ‘Here is a decade, Bevo, you are a St Kilda person, you understand the club. Your dad, Johnny, knows it back to front. You have grown up with it, you are the man, away you go’.
“Then you can make the hard decisions. You are going to have to get rid of some guys, you are going to have to rebuild and maybe trade a few players out.
“Just get it right.
“If it (a contract extension with the Bulldogs) is not done, they (St Kilda) should make every post a winner to appoint him.”
Thomas said St Kilda had made a poor decision in not casting the net for the best available coach at the end of last season when the club slumped to 16th.
His advice to chase Alastair Clarkson or John Longmire fell on deaf ears and he now admitted it is too late to attract two of the most experienced coaches in the game.
“Our timing is impeccably bad, it always is, unfortunately,” Thomas said.
“That’s what I was talking about on the (Sacked) podcast about making brave decisions.
“The time to make it was at the end of last year, or maybe a year earlier. Clarkson lives in Brighton, and he might have been in a different space then, and maybe (it could have been) Bevo who was under the pump then, or Longmire.
“They are probably the top three coaches in the competition and we might have missed out on them because we stalled and we waited.”
The Saints may even be too late on Beverage too with Peter Gordon exclaiming he has already begun discussions with Beverage to extend his stay at the Bulldogs, with recent results suggesting the re-building Dogs have a chance to play finals and are better placed for future years.
Brett Ratten has been announced as interim manager and Brad Scott has been talked about as a potential replacement… but one thing is clear, the Saints need someone to turn their exciting list into a finals outfit.