Each week there is a phone call St Kilda coach Brett Ratten knows is coming, especially after a loss.
Elite sports coaching is considered a most stressful and isolating job yet Ratten has Carlton premiership teammate Craig Bradley checking in on him each week. The Saints coach and Bradley used that relationship to help encourage people to call and check on their friends for the RUOK? Charity on Thursday.
Ratten flipped the script by asking Bradley how he was during a guest appearance following Ratten’s final round press conference.
“Whether it’s a text message or a phone call, it’s probably every week [he checks on me],” Ratten said.
“Braddles is always there, especially when we don’t get the four points, he’s always there to reach out and give us a bit of support and that friendship goes right back to the Carlton days – it’s still extremely strong.
“He probably doesn’t boss me around as much as he used to in the centre-square but he’s a special person in my life and I think it’s really important for everybody to reach out to their friends, especially with COVID and everything going on, just make sure your loved ones and the people that are around you are safe and sound.
“Sometimes they just need a chat or somebody to talk to.”
Bradley echoed the sentiments and, after a torrid season for Ratten and the Saints, it’s no doubt his support has been important to dealing with the disappointment of missing out on back-to-back finals appearances.
Ratten already has an eye to next year heading into Sunday’s final round clash with Fremantle as he will bring back Jack Bytel for another game and rest young forward Max King who is battling soreness after a tiring campaign.