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Lenny Hayes did everything humanly possible to win St Kilda’s second premiership.

He was robbed by the bounce of the ball in 2010 — when he won the Norm Smith Medal in the drawn Grand Final — but the latest inductee to the Australian Football Hall of Fame might have been cruelled by a back room move four years earlier.

“If they hadn’t have sacked Grant Thomas, they would have got a couple (of premierships), I reckon,” AFL writer Michael Warner said on this week’s Herald Sun Footy Podcast.

“Nothing against Ross (Lyon), but that was one of the worst decisions in (club) history.”


Thomas led the Saints to successive preliminary finals in 2004-05 but was sacked after an injury-ravaged team lost to Melbourne in an elimination final the next season.

He told the Sacked podcast last year he was victim of an internal war with president Rod Butterss, who would have sacked him even if he had won a flag.

“Thommo was a unique unit, but the players loved him,” Herald Sun Footy Podcast co-host Scott Gullan said. “They dismantled that at the wrong time because of egos.”

Also on this week’s podcast: the latest on AFL player pay cut:

IS using fake crowd noise during AFL broadcasts a good idea?

WAS Sydney’s $10 million Buddy deal worth it?

CHAD Wingard’s media ban
HOW the season could extend into December; and

THE power golf quartet that stunned Royal Burnley.


Moving legacy of footy’s most famous speech

‘It’s not blacks v whites’: Saint’s pain at US chaos

Robbo’s predicted bottom-six for 2020

Originally published as Saints’ bad call that cost Lenny a flag