St Kilda have announced that they will celebrate their now officially legendary former coach, Malcolm Blight, by playing a testimonial match at Etihad Stadium later in the year.
Malcolm Blight was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame’s ‘Legends’ category at a ceremony in Adelaide earlier tonight. Blight’s most recent position in a playing or coaching capacity was at his beloved St Kilda where he successfully coached the side to three victories.
St Kilda Football Club President Peter Summers said that the club had been campaigning on Blight’s behalf for some time.
“When Malcolm came to the club we’d just had a horror season where we could only manage two wins and a draw. We needed improvement so we went for the best, and he didn’t disappoint,” said Summers.
“Malcolm led our side to three wins which, as only a cursory familiarity with the base-10 numerical system will tell you, is better than two wins. In 2000 we finished bottom, in 2001 we finished second to bottom which, again, by any metric, is an improvement.
“Malcolm managed all this in just 15 games for our club. His time here was short but his, dare I say it, legend lives on.”
Malcolm Blight was paid $1 million for his time at the Saints which was so effective the club felt that they had already received their money’s worth before the end of his first year, informing him that he didn’t have to finish the entire season.
The club was so sure that Blight’s shoes could not be filled that they replaced him with a coach who had no previous top-level coaching experience, Grant Thomas. This tradition continued for the next two coaches before finally hiring Allan Richardson who had coached Port Adelaide for one game previously, compared to Blight’s two premierships and five Grand Final appearances.
The testimonial match will be played at Etihad Stadium during the ‘rest week’ immediately preceding the 2017 AFL Finals Series. It will feature a mixture of handpicked players that Blight has coached over the years including such champions as Robert Harvey, Andrew McLeod, Barry Stoneham and Jason Traianidis.