Ross Lyon to clap off Saints AFL friends

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon feels fortunate he’ll be present for the AFL swan songs of St Kilda trio Stephen Milne, Jason Blake and Justin Koschitzke.


Lyon coached the Saints from 2007-11, leading the club to four finals appearances and three grand finals.

His winning record of 62.8 per cent over that period is considered elite.

Koschitzke, Milne and Blake were all key players under Lyon’s reign, and will fittingly bow out under the eye of their former coach in Saturday’s clash with Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.

“For me, I feel fortunate that I’m going to be there to see their last game and give them a clap off the ground, because they’ve been wonderful servants,” Lyon told Perth’s radio station 6PR.

“It was an era that ultimately didn’t deliver a cup, but went mighty close.

“It was five prelims, two grand finals and a replay under Grant Thomas and myself. That group duly delivered but just fell short.

“Outside of the premiership, it’s the most successful era over eight, nine, 10 years in the club’s history.

“So those players should be admired and applauded off the ground by all the Saints’ fans.”

Koschitzke hasn’t played since round 14 due to a calf injury, but is hoping to take on the Dockers in what would be his 200-game milestone.

Milne will go down as one of the AFL’s finest small forwards after booting 572 goals during his 274-game career.

But the 33-year-old was stood down for four games earlier this season after being charged with four counts of rape over an alleged incident from 2004.

Milne is fighting the charges.

Blake has notched 218 games in a career spanning 14 years.

The 189cm defender/ruckman notched his first Brownlow medal votes last year, but has played just six games this season.

Fremantle have been in hot form over the past month, but need Brisbane to upset Geelong at Simonds Stadium if they are to have a chance of nabbing second spot.

The Dockers will welcome back Clancee Pearce (calf) and ruckman Aaron Sandilands (fractured cheekbone) from injury, but Michael Walters (knee) and Nick Suban (hamstring) will miss the match.

All-Australian defender Luke McPharlin was initially scheduled to return this week, but won’t be ready until the first week of the finals due to a lingering calf injury.