Saints deny Watters extension

Written By Unknown on Senin, 14 Oktober 2013 | 23.40

St Kilda coach Scott Watters has been refused a contract extension. Picture: Jason Sammon Source: Jason Sammon / HeraldSun

ST KILDA coach Scott Watters will coach for his future early next season after the Saints backed out of a proposed contract extension.

The decision not to offer Watters a new contract before Round 1 came after an official review of the club also backed the authority of head of football Chris Pelchen.

The review stated both Watters and Pelchen would remain at the club next year, but the Saints board won't consider a deal into well into next season.

It is a massive blow for Watters, who was eager for the security of a contract extension given more hard times ahead for the Saints next year.

Both Pelchen and departing chief executive Michael Nettlefold had publicly stated Watters would receive an extension over the off-season.

But it is understood the club does not believe it is in a position to extend his deal given the uncertainty at the club.

Now Watters will need early wins as well an increased focus on harmony in the football department if he is to save his career.

Pelchen has already forecast another tough season on-field next year as the club rebuilds its list, meaning Watters will come under searing pressure early in the season.

St Kilda has had to deal with continued controversies in recent weeks, with Pelchen and Watters at odds, the players involved in a dwarf-lighting furore, and the list in a rebuild mode.

Watters was seen to totally take over the club's running in the last six weeks of the year, taking control of training and team selection.

But former Hawthorn list manager Pelchen will be given the power to control the football department and ensure proper delegation across the team of assistant coaches.

Pelchen had indicated Watters was likely to get a contract extension as recently as July.

"Obviously Scott is contracted until the end of 2014 and the club is pleased with the progress in his first 18 months as coach," Pelchen said.

"As you would expect, any discussion about Scott's contract is a matter for the board in due course."

Nettlefold was just as adamant the deal would be forthcoming in recent months.

"He'd be keen to get an extension to his contract, we've got a young group coming through and it's something the board will consider in due course," Nettlefold said.

"It's something that we'll work on over the next couple of months. It really depends on workloads, these things need a fair bit of work."

St Kilda will employ the services of former AFLPA and Geelong consultant Pippa Grange and her Bluestone Edge team next year.

Like Leading Teams, the company deals with "culture, ethics and leadership", with the understanding that the Saints have significant ground to make up in all those areas.

The decision not to provide Watters security means the former Pies assistant will face scrutiny from the first round of next year.

He will do that despite the club trading off former top ten draft pick Ben McEvoy, with Nick Dal Santo still a strong chance to get to North Melbourne as a free agent.

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