St Kilda split up three young players this week to guarantee that two of them could play against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Saints temporarily removed an ailing Jimmy Webster from a house he shares with Paddy McCartin and Tim Membrey after he fell ill at training during the week.
Webster’s untimely virus at least allowed the Saints to reward Brodie Murdoch for his solid form in the VFL by promoting him to the senior team.
“We put him (Webster) in isolation. He had to go and live with his girlfriend, stay at her house for the night. Apologies to his girlfriend,” coach Alan Richardson said on Friday.
“He’ll have to miss, which is really good for Brodie. He will predominantly play back and he has been good for us at VFL level for five or six weeks and we’ve been keen to get him into the team.”
Richardson said he was pleased with the positive response from players sent back to the VFL and the competition for places on what’s currently a healthy senior list.
“It’s a reflection of their attitude and of the work our coaches do to get the players back up in a good frame of mind. More importantly, to give them clarity on what they have to work on and address,” he said.
“For a team that’s nowhere near the top of the ladder and we would’ve liked to have won more games of footy, but there’s more rotations as a team and we haven’t had the performances where there has been two shockers in a row.”
Richardson praised the club’s handling of the brief onfield altercation between skipper Nick Riewoldt and a club marketing official after the final siren at Etihad Stadium in last weekend’s win over Essendon.
“He’s a strong, ambitious, demanding leader that, if he sees fit to tell his teammates to get off the ground because this is what we should do as a footy club, win games of footy, that’s his role,” said Richardson.
“He’s as good as I’ve seen in my time, and I’ve been involved with a few footy clubs, in respect of the way he deals with our fans.
“He’s often the last to leave at training when it comes to signing autographs.”