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St Kilda Saints 2018

The devil is in the detail

· List Analysis

Average Age

  • 23 yrs 219 days (at Nov 30, 2017) – 4th youngest in the AFL (ave. games 52.6 which is 2nd least)

Depth Charts:

  • 4 x Key forwards (193cm+)
  • 9 x General forwards
  • 14 x Midfielders
  • 3 x Rucks
  • 7 x General defenders
  • 8 x Key defenders (193cm+)

Key Players:

  • Seb Ross
  • Jack Steven
  • Jack Carlilse
  • Jarryn Geary (C) 

The Issues:

  • Lack of leadership. I know super captain N.Riewoldt is gone, but St.Kilda's leadership has disappeared with him, as has the ability of their key forwards.
  • The false dawn. The Saints believed that they were ready for a sustained finals charge, but were wrong. Great wins were often inspired by Riewoldt and Montagna who have retired. 
  • Keeping around list cloggers. Too many low ceiling players that aren't best 22 and have been on the list for over 6 years.

Whats Missing:

  • Elite midfield talent
  • A pipeline of young midfielders that are ready to step up once Steven leaves.

Current Draft Picks:

  • 1st Round: 3
  • 2nd Round: none (traded to Port Adelaide for 2017 Pick 34, used on key defender Oscar Clavarino, and Port's 2018 fourth round pick)
  • 3rd Round: none (traded to North Melbourne for key defender Logan Austin via Port Adelaide)
  • 4th Round: 57, 62 (from Adelaide), 68 (from Port Adelaide)

Upcoming Contracts:

  • Sam Gilbert (de-list with emergence of Webster, and Roberton back next year)

  • Ray Connellan (de-list)

  • Nathan Wright (de-list, 6y on the list and hasn't made it)

  • Nathan Freeman (de-list or 1 more year)

  • Nathan Brown (re-sign to a 1+1y deal)

  • Maverick Weller (de-list or 1 more year)

  • Logan Austin (re-sign to a 2-3y deal)

  • Lewis Pierce (de-list, 6y on the list)

  • Koby Stevens (re-sign if he doesn't retire)

  • Jack Steele (re-sign to a 2-4y deal)

  • Jack Lonie (de-list or 1 more year)

  • Hugh Goddard (de-list, offer rookie spot, or 1 more year)

  • Edward Phillips (re-sign to a 2y deal)

  • Doulton Langlands (re-rookie or de-list)

  • Darren Minchington (de-list, 7y on the list! That is way too long for a fringe player)

  • Darragh Joyce (de-list)

  • Billy Longer (trade or re-sign if trading Hickey, don't keep both)

What do they do?

Trade/FA: The Saints need elite midfielders and leaders, they don't need anymore honest soldiers.

  • Rory Sloane looks like the St Kilda mascot, and if they could bring him home to Victoria, I'd name him captain next year. He's the leader that they are missing, and like Gaff, would immediately be the best player in the side. The Sloane family are long-time Saints supporters, and I rate them as a genuine chance of signing Rory at the end of this season. If I were the Saints, I'd target Sloane over Gaff.
  • Andrew Gaff would be the next priority free agent for clubs that need premium midfield quality, and the Saints should be a better chance of getting him than the Blues given that playing finals seems closer for them. He'd walk straight in and be the best player on their list, and they should have a war chest to get him.
  • Dahlhaus is the final midfielder that they should target. The Saints don't have many forward/midfielder. He suits their list structure and wouldn't break the bank. 
  • Don't trade the top draft picks for players. The Saints just need to take their pick to the board, and take the best available midfielder. They could trade their top pick for multiple picks inside 20, but at least one of those picks should still be inside 7.
  • AFL website said target Aaron Hall, Rory Lobb, and second or third round draft picks, and look to move on Billings, Longer, and Savage. Hall and Lobb are good players, but Lobb is yet to prove he's up to a number 1 ruck spot, and Hall is hot and cold. Hall for Billings could be worth it for both the Saints and Suns, but Hall needs a midfield leader like Sloane around him to make it worthwhile. Savage to Geelong, Port Adelaide, or West Coast for a 2nd round pick would be a good move, they have a surplus of rebounding/kicking backs. 

Draft: Pick 3 ..................... [tumble weed] ..................... then some fourth round picks. Spent this years second and third round picks on developing key defenders. Can't bring in any more of them, the Saints need mids!

  • Option 1: Draft the best midfielder. This is important for the Saints, they need someone that will develop into an elite midfielder, and given their dearth of picks between 5 and 60, they need to find it early. Bailey Smith fits the bill. He is a local boy playing with the Sandringham Dragons, his hardness and dedication will ensure he makes it at the top level. The Saints should target a mix of running type midfielders and key forwards with their later picks. 
  • Option 2: Get more picks. Serious shades of Carlton here, and without the likelihood of getting Sam Walsh that the Blues have, the Saints should highly consider moving down to get more top 20 picks. Adelaide hold two first round picks, and could be willing to move up in order to get Rankine or Lukosius. If the Saints could get them both for Pick 3, they should do it. Moving down could still mean Bailey Smith is available (as other clubs down the bottom could be hunting for elite tall players early). They should target another midfielder like Rozee, Hatley, or Curtis Taylor with the extra selection. 

Sean Says:

  • I'm not sure that there is a lot of light in this list without some creative drafting and trading. Hopefully the new list manager is willing to roll the dice. There is enough in the list to be a finals side, but the difference between a finals side and a grand final is huge. 

John says:

  • Do not trade out your leaders. McEvoy should be leading this club right now, and instead the Saints are scrambling. The Saints don't even have a Vice Captain. They can say it's because the other leaders are all very even, but in truth it's because no one is putting their hand up. 

Final Words:

  • Bit of sunk cost fallacy about the Saints. What is the sunk cost fallacy?The Misconception: You make rational decisions based on the future value of objects, investments and experiences. The Truth: Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it. To move forward, it's time to say goodbye to some average players you've invested a lot in Saints.

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