Warne eyes role in Australian Football League

Published: Tuesday, January 2, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Known for his penchant to stay in the thick of things, Shane Warne, post-cricket, eyes a role in the Australian rules football to live his childhood dream of joining an AFL club.

Warne's 16-year-old chequered career comes to an end with the final Ashes Test here, as is the case with his teammates Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer, and the flamboyant leggie was candid about his AFL dreams.

''I would love to be involved in some sort of mentoring role with AFL footballers. That's something I will weigh up when I am finished,'' Warne was quoted as saying by Herald Sun.

During his year-long suspension for taking banned drugs, Warne had spent the winter of 2003 with the St Kilda Football Club after invited by then coach Grant Thomas.

St Kilda president Rod Butter today told the daily that he would be delighted to have Warne.

''Shane is a favourite son of the club and we would love to think he could help us achieve a quarter of what he achieved. Clearly he is a champion. He knows how to perform under pressure, having done just that time and again throughout his cricket career, and I see first-hand what happens when he walks in to our rooms.

''Everyone has enormous respect for him and they all love to have a coffee with him, kick some ideas around, and he is a very passionate Saints man. In 2001 when we had the unfortunate parting of the ways with Malcolm Blight, something that gave us all a lift at the time was when Shane draped a St Kilda guernsey over the players' balcony at Lord's,'' Mr Butters said.

''The whole club was going through a demanding time. There was a lot of criticism, and to see him make that gesture meant a lot to us at the time,'' he added.

Warne also said that his stint with the Saints in 2003 was rewarding.

''I enjoyed my time at St Kilda helping out with the leadership group and being around the place, just there for players to talk to.

Grant Thomas got me down there at a tough time in my career, and I appreciate that,'' he said.

Warne, however, was evasive about his possible role as a surprise AFL radio commentator this year.

''I love my AFL football," he said. "If it's commentary, if there is some role with TV and football, or a club, obviously the Saints would be at the top of the list. That's something I will weigh up as well -- if somebody wants me,'' he said.


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