List Mgmt. Saints (French) Foreign Legion

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WillHayward

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 13, 2018
6,956
9,104
South Melbourne
AFL Club
Sydney
I'm thinking the Saints current list Is the most interesting in the comp.

Consider this.

In their best 22 u have:

Carlisle Howard Hill Steele Jones Higgins Butler Membrey Ryder Hannerbery Crouch.

That's 11 blokes.

Half the side.

Throw in Kent, McKernan and Frawley as 3 emergencies.

The last decade of premiership sides have had between 2 and 6 players recruited from outside.

Now this makes sense. The old model of draft kids and build a side is much bloody harder since GC and GWS have managed to dominate the draft and been gifted young talent.

Some clubs like Demons and Blues have tried the old model and found it hard.

Some clubs like Geelong have rejected it outright.

Now GWS and GC are competitive no doubt this model will return with glory. The Swans are now going back to this for example.

But in the here and now, do the Saints have it right??

If they sneak a flag it will be with half a side of recruits.

Not saying they won't.. Just saying it would be a huge difference from the recent norm.

Bloody interested to find out.

Thoughts on this ?
 
Last edited:
Apr 6, 2020
7,621
17,016
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
The Void
I'm thinking the Saints current list Is the most interesting in the comp.

Consider this.

In their best 22 u have:

Carlisle Howard Hill Steele Jones Higgins Butler Membrey Ryder Hannerbery Crouch.

That's 11 blokes.

Half the side.

Throw in Kent, McKernan and Frawley as 3 emergencies.

The last decade of premiership sides have had between 2 and 6 players recruited from outside.

Now this makes sense. The old model of draft kids and build a side is much bloody harder since GC and GWS have managed to dominate the draft and been gifted young talent.

Some clubs like Demons and Blues have tried the old model and found it hard.

Some clubs like Geelong have rejected it outright.

Now GWS and GC are competitive no doubt this model will return with glory. The Swans are now going back to this for example.

But in the here and now, do the Saints have it right??

If they sneak a flag it will be with half a side of recruits.

Not saying they won't.. Just saying it would be a huge difference from the recent norm.

Bloody interested to find out.

Thoughts on this ?
I really like what the saints are doing. It would be great to see them win a flag. I hadn't even considered the French Foreign Legion comparison but it's a great one.

As for whether they have it right or not, only time will tell, but I don't think it'll be right for all teams if it works.
 

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Dr Tigris

Premium Platinum
Aug 19, 2009
8,296
21,324
Canberra
AFL Club
Richmond
Usually teams pick up their players form outside to fill holes. To some extent the Saints have done that, but they also seem to be simply picking up any available good player. It'll fast track their development as a team. At the same time they might end up with a self imposed limit. This is because outside players cost more, and typically are not the vital core of top teams. SO from the Tigers they've gotten some real quality. But they are towards the bottom of the 22, not the top end. Crouch is a great role player (IMHO), but you don't build a team around him.

On the other hand if you build a really deep squad, and get it well balanced, you can win the title. Good on them for having a red hot crack. And who they've brought in will give them a 5 year window.
 

Yojimbo

Cancelled
Nov 14, 2012
10,914
9,801
The "Elephant" in the room.
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
It's a fine balance, there is always an element of obligation when you bring in players from other teams. You have to watch as a team you don't stifle the development of your younger players, Geelong are starting to tip the balance a little at the moment and it's getting ridiculous. There are enough warning signs or cases of failure in recent years to show or illustrate what happens when you get the balance wrong. If you do a study of the traded players the successes seem to be the ones brought in to play a defined role although there seems to be a genuine element of comfort in the ones who score lucrative longer term contracts, it's a fine line.
 

Sttew

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 28, 2006
21,430
19,693
Who's asking?
AFL Club
Geelong
It's a fine balance, there is always an element of obligation when you bring in players from other teams. You have to watch as a team you don't stifle the development of your younger players, Geelong are starting to tip the balance a little at the moment and it's getting ridiculous. There are enough warning signs or cases of failure in recent years to show or illustrate what happens when you get the balance wrong. If you do a study of the traded players the successes seem to be the ones brought in to play a defined role although there seems to be a genuine element of comfort in the ones who score lucrative longer term contracts, it's a fine line.
Yeah, the club might end up playing in a Grand Final
 

Kwality

Hall of Famer
Aug 14, 2011
32,323
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Trafalgar
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West Coast
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Its all about recruiting for the "now" rather than rebuilding and languishing at the bottom for God knows how long. I've heard it described as "very Amercian"
In the era of destination clubs & free agency, its been a while since anyone won a flag with a 'home grown' list & its not likely to change.
 

Sttew

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 28, 2006
21,430
19,693
Who's asking?
AFL Club
Geelong
It surprised me that the Saints have nudged even Geelong off top rung of oldest list with this strategy:

Why wouldn't you go down this path? If you can get to a GF, anything can happen. I know there are two schools of thought, but I'd much rather be following a team that played finals year after year than a team that went with the youth, and languished near the bottom.

And age is an anachronism. Didn't Tom Brady just turn 40? We have this mindset that when you turn 30 you're old and past it. Tom Hawkins debunked that myth this year.
 

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aussierulesrules

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2011
30,610
58,137
Heaven. I mean Victoria.
AFL Club
St Kilda
Usually teams pick up their players form outside to fill holes. To some extent the Saints have done that, but they also seem to be simply picking up any available good player. It'll fast track their development as a team. At the same time they might end up with a self imposed limit. This is because outside players cost more, and typically are not the vital core of top teams. SO from the Tigers they've gotten some real quality. But they are towards the bottom of the 22, not the top end. Crouch is a great role player (IMHO), but you don't build a team around him.

On the other hand if you build a really deep squad, and get it well balanced, you can win the title. Good on them for having a red hot crack. And who they've brought in will give them a 5 year window.
It's true that you don't build a team around Crouch (that said, he did get the 4th most coaches votes for the finals series in the year they made the GF, and has since won a club B&F), but we're also not paying him the kind of money you'd pay the types you build a team around.

On a yearly average of their contracts (so taking out front or back ending and just going on the average across the contract), he's probably our 7th or 8th highest paid this year.

We also had a huge amount of money tied up last season in guys that weren't getting a game (Roberton, Dunstan and Webster played 2 games between them and could have been on $1.5mil), so once their contracts expire it's gonna free up a lot more money for us to go big again at the trade and free agency market.

And perhaps now we'll be attractive enough as a destination to land that really big fish that makes the big difference.
 
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Atomboy

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2007
3,687
3,975
Yes
AFL Club
St Kilda
Usually teams pick up their players form outside to fill holes. To some extent the Saints have done that, but they also seem to be simply picking up any available good player. It'll fast track their development as a team. At the same time they might end up with a self imposed limit. This is because outside players cost more, and typically are not the vital core of top teams. SO from the Tigers they've gotten some real quality. But they are towards the bottom of the 22, not the top end. Crouch is a great role player (IMHO), but you don't build a team around him.

On the other hand if you build a really deep squad, and get it well balanced, you can win the title. Good on them for having a red hot crack. And who they've brought in will give them a 5 year window.
We have/had so many holes to fill, even our administrators are recycled !.

I believe we also have our eye on Jean Claude Van Damme in the preseason draft.
 

telsor

Hall of Famer
Aug 29, 2004
33,436
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Richmond
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Why wouldn't you go down this path? If you can get to a GF, anything can happen. I know there are two schools of thought, but I'd much rather be following a team that played finals year after year than a team that went with the youth, and languished near the bottom.

And age is an anachronism. Didn't Tom Brady just turn 40? We have this mindset that when you turn 30 you're old and past it. Tom Hawkins debunked that myth this year.
You're not over it at 30, but you start rolling the dice on your decline. Some play a few years of good football, but gradually injuries, etc. catch up. Some decline gradually, others quicker.

How did Hawkins 'debunk that myth'? He had a good year, but it was hardly groundbreaking.
 

aussierulesrules

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2011
30,610
58,137
Heaven. I mean Victoria.
AFL Club
St Kilda
It surprised me that the Saints have nudged even Geelong off top rung of oldest list with this strategy:

Getting in Frawley (32ish) and McKernan (29ish) for depth purposes would have tipped us over the edge there.

I'm guessing they also have more in that 18-20yo age bracket than we do. Speculative young types. We have very few in that age bracket.

On average we fielded the 3rd youngest teams in the comp last season.
 

PJays

All Australian
Nov 2, 2020
762
887
AFL Club
St Kilda
It surprised me that the Saints have nudged even Geelong off top rung of oldest list with this strategy:

That's an astounding stat. It's reflective of St Kilda not having as many players in that 18-19 age bracket who bring the average down. Saints have very few old players, few young players, and loads in between (aged 21-27, with a big group of our best 22 aged 23-26).

Geelong has about 15 or 16 players in their best 22 who are 28 or more. St Kilda has 3 or 4. (Carlisle, Hannebery, Ryder. Some Saints fans include Geary, others leave him out).

So in terms of where we're placed for the next 2 or 3 years, I expect minimal changes in our best 22 each year. Whereas Geelong will be undergoing significant changes every year to the team that's out on the field.

St.Kilda is a bit unique in having so many older players who aren't even in their best 22- Frawley, McKernan, Webster, Roberton, some add Geary, etc.
 

Rimmer

Club Legend
May 7, 2008
1,602
2,081
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
I think Carlton has 11 journeymen in their best side too. Both StKilda and Carlton have been pretty astute with their pickups to the point where the imports are amongst their best players. Both teams have cause to be optimistic about 2021 and should play finals.
 

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