Brett Ratten remains undecided about his coaching future.
Brett Ratten remains undecided about his coaching future.

Ratten: ‘I haven’t heard from the Blues’

ST Kilda interim coach Brett Ratten says he's yet to be approached by old club Carlton or hold formal talks with the Saints as he continues his audition for a full-time return as an AFL senior coach.

And Ratten said he was happy for the coaching selection process to take as long as necessary.

The Saints this week named the members of their coaching selection subcommittee, which will be chaired by club president Andrew Bassat.

The committee also includes Saints' football director Dean Anderson, chief executive Matt Finnis and general manager of football Simon Lethlean, along with the AFL's Head of Coaching David Rath.

"Not I haven't heard from the Blues, no," Ratten said at Moorabbin on Friday.

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"I spoke to Andrew (Bassat) Wednesday night and just had a chat and he said they were putting together the committee and they would go from there, but nothing formal yet."

Ratten has worked alongside Rath closely in the past during their time together at Hawthorn.

Brett Ratten coached the Blues to 60 wins from 120 games in charge.
Brett Ratten coached the Blues to 60 wins from 120 games in charge.

But he expected Rath to treat him the same as any other coaching applicant.

"Rathy has got a great footy brain and his role at the AFL is really important for the game itself, he is so professional David in the way that he goes about it," Ratten said.

"We have got a long relationship with being involved at Hawthorn and the premierships that we won, but this will be pretty professional the way that it's going to go about it.

"He'll make his decision or have a view on it, if I'm in that process he'll treat me like any other person."

Ratten, who guided to the Saints to victory in his first game in charge last weekend after taking over from Alan Richardson, stressed again his interest in securing the Saints job.

"I have enjoyed the St Kilda atmosphere and the culture here in regards to the players and the way they go about it, so I'm putting my hand up here," Ratten said.

"But you don't know what's around the corner."

Ratten is one from one at the Saints. Pic: Getty Images
Ratten is one from one at the Saints. Pic: Getty Images

Asked if he would pursue the other vacant coaching jobs, Ratten said: "I've probably got to get asked first. I might not get asked and that will be interesting too, I'll have to do what I'm doing," he said.

"We'll just see what happens."

Ratten said he had been given no indication from the Saints about when they wanted to appoint a new coach, but was happy for the process to take as long as necessary.

"I don't think any organisation making a decision on their football coach should rush it. It's a big decision, you put a lot of time into it," Ratten said.

"That person has to lead the football club to where they want to go.

"Whether it's Carlton, North or the Saints. I don't think they should be rushing into any decision, they need to do their homework on the people that are applying or the people they want because it is a big decision.

"All football clubs are making this decision because the club isn't going where they want it and they need to make a change so the next person in charge has to take the football club to where they want to go."

Jack Steven in action for Sandringham last week. Pic: Getty Images
Jack Steven in action for Sandringham last week. Pic: Getty Images


Meanwhile, Ratten is confident Jack Steven will return to play AFL this year and remain a key figure for the club beyond this season.

Steven will play his second game in the VFL this weekend after taking an extended break to deal with mental health issues.

Ratten said Steven was in a good space and on track to return to the senior side at some stage before the end of the season.

"He is going well. He played three quarters, he'll play in the VFL again this week, he looked happy and really that's the main thing that we want from Jack," Ratten said.

"He had 21 touches in three quarters of footy running around, he is a very good player, but he needs to get a bit more fitness into his preparation.

Steven is working on his fitness. Pic: Getty Images
Steven is working on his fitness. Pic: Getty Images

"But he was smiling and happy and jovial which is great to see.

"He could (play seniors this year). That's the plan."

There have been reports Geelong are set to try and lure 29-year-old Steven, who hails from Lorne, closer to home.

Ratten expected Steven, who has played just the four senior games in 2019, to be a required player at the Saints, who he is contracted to until 2020.

"That's a list management decision there. What a great player, four B and Fs, he's been outstanding for the football club and he's just such a talent," Ratten said.

"If you're coaching, you want talent around and he's got an abundance of that. We'd love to have him at the footy club."

But he acknowledged Steven's happiness was the primary consideration when asked if he might want a fresh start.

"I'm not sure. I haven't spoken to him about that, I've only been in this role for a week, whatever is best for Jack and if he is happy that's the main thing," Ratten said.

"I know Richo as well wanted him to be happy and in a good space so that's our main aim as a footy club."

Ratten said Dan Hannebery was close to making a return for this weekend's clash against Melbourne, but the club didn't want to push him until he was fully fit.

He suggested the former Swan could make a return against Adelaide in the next round.

"Dan was really close, he just didn't feel quite right and with a player with his history we want to make sure that he's right to go," Ratten said.

"We just don't want to push him out there 80 per cent or 75 per cent, we want to make sure that he's confident.

"He wasn't quite to where he wanted to be. So he'll do a full week's training, Saturday will be really important for him but he's really confident he'll get through and get to next week.

"We'll just wait and see because whatever Dan does this year we want to make sure that he finishes the season off strong and he gets back out on the park, but if that's one game, four games I don't know. We need to make sure he is ready to go and plays some pretty good footy for us."