Robert Harvey news delights St Kilda fans after Ross Lyon appointment

Robert Harvey is pictured with former St Kilda teammate Nick Riewoldt.
St Kilda legend Robert Harvey has joined the club as an assistant coach, reuniting with former mentor Ross Lyon. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

Saints fans have delighted in the news that club great Robert Harvey is re-joining the club as an assistant coach in the wake of Ross Lyon's appointment as head coach.

After a turbulent off-season for the club headlined by the shock move to sack former coach Brett Ratten just months after offering him a two-year extension, St Kilda's hopes rest on the impact Lyon will make in his stead.

CRUCIAL: Chris Fagan coaching twist emerges amid AFL racism scandal

'PRETTY BLUNT': Premier sparks state feud in Magic Round swipe

The appointment of Lyon, 11 years after his controversial departure from the club in favour of Fremantle, comes after a collapse in the second half of last season which saw the Saints miss the finals altogether after being in top eight contention earlier in the year.

It's a period of change for the Saints, who are also set to welcome a new head of football, Geoff Walsh, who declared the club had been 'irrelevant' for decades soon after he was hired.

Harvey, a two-time Brownlow Medal winner and 383-game player for the Saints, returns to Moorabbin after stints as an assistant with Hawthorn, Carlton and Collingwood.

He joins former St Kilda midfielder Lenny Hayes on the coaching staff, who was hired from GWS back in August.

St Kilda have confirmed Hayes and Geelong great Corey Enright will be two of Lyon's key lieutenants, with Harvey now joining them as well.

"It's happened pretty fast - I only got a call (from) Ross last Friday," Harvey said in a club video.

"Obviously I have a really close relationship with Ross and a great belief in what he does as a coach.

"To come back is exciting ... I'm really looking forward to the challenge, there's a lot of work to be done."

Saints fans, many concerned about the club's direction, were welcoming of Harvey's return to the club.

Robert Harvey back at St Kilda after 'difficult' decision to leave Hawthorn

Harvey served as an assistant at St Kilda for the 2010-11 seasons, leaving the club at the same time as Lyon controversially went to Fremantle.

Harvey since has been an assistant at Collingwood and was at Hawthorn for this season.

Nick Dal Santo coaches their AFLW team and there is speculation Brendon Goddard could return to the club.

While Harvey retired in 2008, the rest were key players when Lyon coached St Kilda to the 2009-10 grand finals.

Harvey said it had been a difficult decision to move on from Hawthorn, but a reunion with the Saints simply felt like the right move at the right time.

Robert Harvey is pictured speaking with Hawthorn players during his time there as an assistant coach in 2022.
Robert Harvey says it was a difficult to leave his role at Hawthorn, but that a return to St Kilda simply felt right. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

“It was a bit of a whirlwind, and it was a really tough decision because it was so quick,” Harvey told SEN Sportsday.

“I was as much looking back to going back with the Hawks as well, but I just felt it was the right time with Ross coming back and I had a relationship with him over the years.

“To get back and work with him was a factor for sure … all those things pointed to my heart saying, ‘This is a good thing for me’.

“As you get older and you go longer in the game, you try and follow your heart as much as you can and that just felt like the right time for me to make this decision when Ross rang me.”

With AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.