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Brutal honesty the way forward

Alan Richardson and his coaching staff are laying down the law this pre-season. Midfield gun Jack Steele on how Alan Richardson's honesty policy is driving this pre-season.
If (Richo) sees something, he’ll call you out on it and tell you straight away, which is exactly what a player wants.
Jack Steele

Brutal honesty shapes as St Kilda’s mantra this summer, as Alan Richardson and his chargers brace to bounce back after an underwhelming 2018 campaign.

The Saints were externally criticised at times last season for their perceived lack of accountability on-field, an analysis not taken lightly at Moorabbin.

And a new mantra of hard-line feedback is how the red, white and black plan on responding.

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Midfield enforcer Jack Steele said the senior coach’s no-holds-barred approach has set the tone for the entire pre-season.

“I think the main thing I’ve found with ‘Richo’ is that he’s honest with his players,” Steele told saints.com.au.

“If he sees something, he’ll call you out on it and tell you straight away, which is exactly what a player wants.

“You don’t want a coach that sort of beats around the bush and doesn’t tell you what you’re good at or what you need to improve on.”

And Richardson is not the only one to tell it like it is, with new midfield coach Brendon Lade also well-renowned around RSEA Park for laying down the law.

“Ladey’s been great so far as the mids coach,” Steele said.

He’s actually very similar to [ex-midfield coach] Adam Kingsley in the way that he doesn’t really take any bullsh*t."

“But he’s nice and honest with you. Already I know the mids are pretty excited to play under him and get to work.

“He always has something to say, which can be a bad thing, but mostly it’s a good thing; we’d rather him say something than nothing at all.”

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Steele, who spent two years in the Giants’ system before transferring to St Kilda, said Richardson’s rapport with every player has been key to strengthening the football department as a whole.

“Richo’s great, he’s good to talk to. He’s someone that’s always interested in what you’re doing outside footy, which is healthy in a player-coach relationship,” he explained.

“I think he’s changed a lot from last year and the year before, so we’re able to have those conversations with him, which makes life around the club a lot easier.”