Main content

Hickey keen to be part of a leading team

Tom Hickey and Aaron Hamill contest a mark during a St Kilda Saints training session at the Linen House Centre, Melbourne on November 8, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Tom Hickey (left) has backed St Kilda's use of Leading Teams to improve the club's culture

ST KILDA believes it has started the overhaul of its culture with the players facing and embracing their first Leading Teams session on Tuesday.

The Saints turned to the leadership consulting group last year following the appointment of Alan Richardson as senior coach in November.

Players returned to training last Monday and started the program, which Richardson saw implemented at Carlton when he was an assistant coach under Brett Ratten.

Young ruckman Tom Hickey said the players had approached the first session enthusiastically.

"It seems really good – all the boys are getting on board," Hickey told AFL.com.au.

"Richo is really keen on it so I think everyone is pretty excited about it and trying to build something special.

"We did a couple of exercises about how we wanted to be seen by round 10, and then everyone went into their own groups and we all wrote down our goals for that point in the season.

"Now we go about turning the theory into actions."

Last year, three of the top four teams – Hawthorn, Fremantle and the Sydney Swans – used the leadership program.

Geelong also employed former Leading Teams facilitator Gerard Murphy to run its leadership program.

The Saints themselves have used the program before and the most recent foray was in the Grant Thomas days before he was sacked in 2006.

St Kilda has been plagued by off-field indiscretions and two years of football department changes, with Ross Lyon leaving for Fremantle at the end of 2011 and Scott Watters sacked in November last year.

The installation of Leading Teams is a bid to improve the tarnished culture, which Richardson outlined as a priority when he was appointed as coach.

Twitter: @AFL_JenPhelan