Former teammates Brett Ratten and Craig Bradley address media (Photo: St Kilda Football Club)

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten opens up on his close bond with former teammate Craig Bradley, urging everyone to check in with family and friends for R U OK?

Having played alongside each other for 13 seasons, St Kilda coach Brett Ratten and premiership teammate Craig Bradley have opened up on the close friendship they still hold.

With the Saints aligning themselves with the R U OK? Charity, Ratten invited close friend Bradley to help encourage people to check in on their friends and family.

Working in a high-pressure environment as a coach, Ratten knows how brutal the role can be after being sacked by Carlton back in 2012, in addition to coming under fire as Saints coach at times. Ratten says Bradley has been supportive during tough times.

Ratten highlighted how important of a role Bradley has in his life, saying regardless of performances from his side that Bradley is always there to check in.

“Whether it’s a text message or call it’s probably every week,” Ratten told media on Thursday.

“’Braddles’ is always there, especially when we don’t get the four points. He’s always there to reach out give us a bit of support, our friendship goes right back to the Carlton days and it’s still extremely strong.

“He’s a special person in my life and I think it’s really important for everybody to reach out to their friends, especially with COVID and everything going on, just make sure your loved ones and the people that are around you are safe and sound.

“Sometimes they just need a chat or somebody to talk to, so please everyone check in on your friends to see if they are okay.”

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Bradley agreed with his close mate’s sentiments, also taking the opportunity to reflect on his time playing alongside Ratten at the Blues.

Bradley is chaired off in his 300th game. (Photo: Blueseum)

He praised the Saints coach, complimenting his great playing career and how important he was to the side during their playing days.

“Ratts was underrated for a long part of his career, but I think at the end everyone kept saying that he was underrated because they all knew that he wasn’t,” Bradley said.

“Great teammate to have, [he was] very competitive, does not give an inch, and wants to fight everyone when it gets down to it and won’t stop fighting.

“You go interstate with him to play a game everyone thinks you’re worried about the crowds, but when you play with blokes like Ratts you know you’ve got the upper hand before you even get started, he was fantastic.”

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