NEW Collingwood recruit Luke Ball said leaving the Saints was not because he was unhappy with the contract offer.
“At the end of the day I have made the decision to leave so there’s an element maybe of truth to that. But not for the reasons that they put across,” Ball said.
“I know Nick really well … I’d like to think that, while he might have said one thing, that he knows (a) what I think of him as a person and a player, and (b) that there’s certainly more reasons than me walking out on a place that I did love for such a long period of time,” he told The Footy Show.
Ball was disappointed that he sat on the bench in the final quarter of last year’s grand final; a move that emulated his entire season under coach Ross Lyon.
“It’s the coach’s prerogative to pick his side and play the side that’s hopefully going to win his club a premiership and I don’t envy the job of a coach … so I’m not bitter about that at all,” Ball said.
“But when you reflect on that you’ve got to think, ‘OK, why?’ and maybe that’s telling you something without saying it.
“I felt like when I was out there I was well and truly in the game. I like to think I enjoy those sorts of games, it was tough, it was tight.
“I’d like to think when I was out there I was in it up to my ears and contributing to the team.”
He said it was tough to leave St Kilda, who selected him at No.2 in the 2001 AFL draft.
“After having eight fantastic years there and really loving the place for that period of time and making some life-long friends, I came to the, I guess, sad realisation that … I didn’t fit into the plans or the future of the footy club.
“I think just maybe the style of game I played … maybe there was enough of my sort of players playing in the team.”