St Kilda assistant coach Lenny Hayes has provided an explanation on the late omission of star forward Tim Membrey from today’s Elimination Final against the Giants.
The Saints confirmed on Saturday morning that Membrey was withdrawn from the starting 22 due to a personal health matter, replaced by Anthony Caminiti.
“Membrey is currently receiving appropriate care and treatment due to a personal health matter” The Saints said in a statement.
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“Tim’s health and wellbeing is our primary concern and the club ask that Tim and the Membrey family’s privacy is respected at this time.”
Speaking on AFL Nation pre game, Hayes provided an update on Membrey’s condition, detailing that the 29-year-old was dealing with a “mental health challenge”.
“In this situation, we really need to respect Tim and what he’s going through,” He said.
“He’s got a mental health challenge at the moment that’s sort of reared, and that’s all I can really say out of respect to him.
“He’s in really good hands at the moment and our thoughts are with him. There’s not too much more we can say, but for us, we need to focus on the game at hand.
“Our thoughts are with Tim but we have to remain focused on the game … That’s what we’ve been speaking to the players about this morning and we’ll do Tim proud.”
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Senior Coach Ross Lyon also spoke on Membrey’s condition, confirming to 3AW pre-game that he found out early in the morning about the change.
“Had a call at 8.16 this morning from our doctor” Lyon said.
“Can’t say a lot except to say overnight he was unwell. We put triage support in place as a club.
“I met with the players … just had to sort of take control of it really. You don’t want 40 conversations.
“It sort of just rocks you a bit.”
Lyon thanked the Giants for their respect in allowing Caminiti to be selected for the match after initially not being included in the selected squad.
“As soon as we sent a text message out, conveyed to the AFL and then the Giants and they respectfully allowed an emergency allowance for (Anthony) Caminiti.”
More to come …