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Lethlean an outstanding acquisition says Finnis

Press conference: Matt Finnis (15/12) Matt Finnis spoke with to the media at today's open training to announce Simon Lethlean as our General Manager of Football. (Friday 15 December, 2017)
We’re convinced this appointment will make us a lot closer to achieving our goals on and off the field.
Matt Finnis

St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis says the appointment of new General Manager of Football Simon Lethlean is an outstanding acquisition for the club.

With former Chief Operating Officer & Legal Counsel, Ameet Bains, hired as the Western Bulldogs’ CEO at the end of October, St Kilda conducted a thorough review of their football department over the last couple of months.

Finnis revealed Ernst & Young's Sports Advisory practice was engaged to conduct the review of the structure of the football department, before the Saints appointed the former AFL GM of Football Operations on Friday.

“We’re really pleased and excited to announce that Simon Lethlean is our new General Manager of Football,” Finnis told reporters at a press conference on Friday morning.

“It’s been a very thorough process that we’ve been through since Ameet Bains resigned and headed off to the Bulldogs.

“We took the opportunity to consider what the right structure is for our football program, not just for now but for the future.

“We approached a number of people and spoke to several candidates.

“But I’m really pleased to say that right throughout that process, Simon Lethlean demonstrated himself to be the outstanding candidate with a unique set of skills and experiences that we’re excited to bring into our footy club.

“We’re convinced this appointment will make us a lot closer to achieving our goals on and off the field.”

Finnis said Lethlean was the best man to help lead St Kilda’s football department and had taken responsibility for the actions that led him to resign from his senior role at the AFL in July.

“We understand there will be people that are interested in the why around this appointment, but we’re also really confident that Simon got this job because he is the best man for it,” Finnis said.

“There’s no doubt that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if Simon didn’t resign from the AFL six months ago in circumstances that he wouldn’t have liked.

“But ultimately, what’s convinced us is he’s taken full accountability for that and taken responsibility for his actions.

“He’s convinced us that that attitude around accountability and his commitment to making his next job a success in coming back into the industry makes him the right person to bring into our footy club.”

Lethlean will commence his role at Linen House Centre when the football department returns to training on January 8.