St Kilda left ‘shocked’ after star Tim Membrey was ruled out of the final due to his mental health issues: ‘He is in a safe place and our thoughts are with him’
- Membrey withdrew from the team late on Saturday
- St Kilda coach Ross Lyon revealed the news hit the team hard
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St Kilda coach Ross Lyon says Tim Membrey’s late withdrawal from the elimination team is “no excuse” for his side’s AFL season loss to GWS, even as his assistant admitted the club was “shocked” by the news.
Membrey was left out of the Saints squad just hours before his resignation at the MCG on Saturday for what the club called a “personal health matter”.
Young forward Anthony Caminiti received special permission from the league to take Membrey’s place, although he was not named as an emergency player on the original 26-man squad.
“It has probably challenged those closest to him, we have addressed it, he is in a safe place and our thoughts are with Tim,” Lyon said.
Tim Membrey had to miss the elimination final against GWS on Saturday due to a serious mental illness
Membrey has become one of the sport’s biggest stars during his time at the park
“We’ll just work through it. “I have nothing else to add.”
Lyon said the call was made at 8.15am on Saturday as the AFL and GWS ticked off the late move.
“That’s certainly no excuse (for the result),” Lyon said after the Saints lost 15.11 (101) to 11.11 (77).
Saints assistant coach Lenny Hayes revealed the impact the shocking news had on the team.
“Something like this kind of shocks us all,” he said.
“In this situation, we really have to respect Tim and what he’s going through.”
“He’s got a mental health issue at the moment that’s kind of being brought up and that’s all I can really say out of respect for him.”
“He’s in really good hands at the moment and our thoughts are with him.” We can’t say much more about it.
“Our thoughts are with Tim, but we spoke to all the players about it before the game and tried to stay focused.”
St Kilda released a short statement on the matter at around 10.30am on Saturday.
“Membrey is currently receiving appropriate care and treatment due to a personal health issue,” the statement said.
“He will be replaced in the team by Anthony Caminiti.”
In a difficult match without Membrey, the Saints gave up and lost to the Giants by four goals
Brent Daniels of the Giants scores one of his side’s 15 goals as they eliminated St Kilda
“Tim’s health and wellbeing is our primary concern and the club asks that the privacy of Tim and the Membrey family is respected at this time.”
GWS coach Adam Kingsley said the Giants were comfortable with St Kilda naming Caminiti as Membrey’s replacement.
“Obviously it’s a serious situation with Tim, so we respect that and we had no problem replacing him with someone non-emergency,” Kingsley said.
“It’s one of those unfortunate situations that we feel for the player and it’s one of those unforeseen situations where we just kept going.”
Membrey got off to a late start to the season, managing just seven games in 2023 as he battled knee injuries and a concussion.
The 29-year-old has played 160 games and scored 263 goals across 10 AFL seasons.