FORMER Dederang ruckman Ben McEvoy yesterday told of his disappointment at his heartbreaking omission from the St Kilda team for today’s grand final.
Speaking at yesterday’s grand final parade, the former Murray Bushrangers captain said the news was hard to take.
“I’m obviously very disappointed but that’s the way it goes,” he said.
“After training yesterday I found out ... I didn’t expect it but footy can be a funny game like that.
“It’s not ideal (and it) was pretty hard to take but the team comes before the individual.”
The man who will take McEvoy’s spot in the Saints’ line-up, feisty defender Steven Baker, said he would do his best to make the Dederang-raised ruckman proud.
“I actually apologised for taking his spot because I really felt for him,” Baker said.
“But he (Ben) said ‘don’t be silly’.
“I will try and do him proud with the spot and I will give 100 per cent and hopefully the Saints get over the line and he’ll be a big part of the whole year.”
The man responsible for McEvoy’s shock omission, Saints’ coach Ross Lyon, said he also felt for McEvoy.
“I think you would make an assumption that it is a difficult period for Ben and it’s certainly at the forefront of everyone’s minds,” Lyon said.
“He is made of stern stuff ... he’s a country boy and he fronted up for the parade and he is certainly with us.”
Lyon was quick to emphasise the fact that football is a team game.
“Every player that is on your list and particularly those that played throughout the course of the year are a part of getting you there and creating the opportunity (to win a premiership),” he said.
McEvoy has played 18 of 24 games for the Saints this season.