The manager of St Kilda young gun Mattaes Phillipou has apologised for a social media post criticising Saints coach Ross Lyon in the wake of their upset loss to Hawthorn.

After Phillipou was omitted for the first time in his young career, Ned Costello, one of the 19-year old’s two managers, took to X claiming Lyon’s coaching is ‘destroying’ the burgeoning careers of several young Saints, including Phillipou and key forward Max King.

“@davidking34 tell me who in the forward line has improved under Lyon? [Mitch] Owens, [Max] King, Phillipou have gotten considerably worse under Lyon. When they came in young and just played, they looked exciting. He is destroying them,” the since-deleted post read.

According to Channel Nine reporter Tom Morris, Costello has expressed regret for the post, saying it was ‘an emotional response from the couch’, with the Saints reportedly ‘a bit bemused’ by the situation.

The off-field drama comes at a bad time for the Saints, who have slumped to 14th on the ladder following the shock loss to the Hawks and have just three wins from nine matches to start the season.

Lyon’s defensively-minded coaching has also come in for heavy criticism, with Kane Cornes labelling him an ‘excuse machine’ after a complaint in his post-match media conference about the AFL’s restrictions on runners during play, following recent issues the coach has had with umpiring as well as a short break before a heavy loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Phillipou had 20 disposals and nine tackles in Saints affiliate Sandringham’s VFL loss to Box Hill on the weekend to press his case for a recall.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Mattaes Phillipou of the Saints is tackled by Luke McDonald of the Kangaroos during the 2023 AFL Round 19 match between the St Kilda Saints and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on July 23, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Mattaes Phillipou is tackled by Luke McDonald. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

‘Wanted to be the man’: Daniher flamed for selfishness in Lions’ draw

David King believes Joe Daniher and other Brisbane senior players cost them a win in a thrilling draw with Adelaide, putting the blowtorch on the Lions for a series of selfish acts.

The Lions sit 13th on the ladder with a 3-1-5 record, two wins behind the eighth-placed Collingwood, after blowing a three-goal lead midway through the last quarter to allow the Crows to take two premiership points.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s First Crack, King was scathing of Daniher in particular, noting his desire to ‘be the man’ and take low-percentage shots at goal from outside 50 rather than looking to pass and adding that it has led to other teammates doing likewise.

“The amount of times I’ve seen Charlie Cameron burned by Joe Daniher with that sort of kick,” King said after showing vision of Daniher going for goal and ignoring his star fellow forward.

“Does this hurt you? Well it does hurt you, because it creates a model that says: ‘each to their own. We’re not going to have that old Geelong model of the unselfish score assist brand’.

“If they were selfless, they win that game. But they’ve got one bloke in the forward line who’s a constant thorn in their side in close moments or big moments like this.”

Daniher has kicked an inaccurate 15.18 thus far in 2024, having booted 65 goals and narrowly missing out on All-Australian selection during the Lions’ run to the grand final.





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