Club Focus St Kilda 2022

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Jeremias

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Data from footywire. To check the draft order see the thread here.

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briztoon

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I'll take your word for it. Hopefully your midfield can start turning it into finals wins. We've won the same number of finals as you over the last two years which is pretty incredible.

 

Atomboy

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Seems fair enough really, every team has players that went 40+ in the draft but the chances of them becoming superstars like Gawn, Rance, McGovern etc. is pretty bloody slim innit.

And it's not like your recruiting team are known for finding lots of gemstones amongst all the dirt and pebble. I assume every involved with picking McCartin over Petracca has been sacked but yeah. Couple of nice trades in butler (maybe) and steele (definitely) but spotting good young talent isn't something saint kildas is really know for as far as I'm concerned anyway.

Finding value amongst the rubble is actually the only thing we’ve been good at:

- Steele, Membrey, Howard, Jones, Higgins, Ryder and Jones have been pretty Low cost trades for decent output

- Marshall, Wilkie, Highmore, Sinclair and Patton have all been handy rookie or low end draft picks

Our early drafting/strategy has been putrid for 10 years though, not sure why we can’t get that right. Or maybe it’s more an issue of not knowing how to develop young players.
 

The Kings Ransom

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botts

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Not a lot of top talent in that group though, Only 3 are top 20 picks and those 3 have had a few years in the system.

Gresham 2015 pick 18
Coffield 2017 pick 8
Clark 2017 pick 9
Bytel 2018 pick 41
Allison 2020 pick 26
Connolly 2019 pick 64
Byrnes 2019 pick 52
Sharman mid season rookie

They just picked up Wanganeen-Milera who looks a future jet wingman, the next few years they need to focus on drafting top talented midfielders with their first round picks. Trading for Ben King which will cost 2 first rounders will be a mistake, pick him up in 4-5 years when the new young midfield is starting to peak.
What about max king?
 

Toump Ass

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Finding value amongst the rubble is actually the only thing we’ve been good at:

- Steele, Membrey, Howard, Jones, Higgins, Ryder and Jones have been pretty Low cost trades for decent output
To clarify when I said spotting young talent seemed to be an issue, I meant drafting kids. I think all teams have found some value late in the draft, a few have managed to find stars though I guess there's some luck involved there. You've done v. well with Marshall and Wilkie though.

I agree you robbed GWS of Steele and Butler is another trade that will look very good if he can hopefully return to form.
 
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Blackas87

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What about max king?
I’ve been talking about the midfield, just think that’s what the Saints should focus on over the next few drafts, taking the best midfielder available with their next few 1st round picks. Need to get some midfielders coming through.
 

dazzledavey36

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I'm in the same boat as most opposition supporters on here who aren't really sure where their list is at.

They have Max King and Jack Steele who are high end talent, but then there's a significant drop.

I'm a big believer that midfield and defence certainly wins you premierships and when I look at the saints midfield brigade I see some glaring holes. They go into next year with Crouch who'll be 28 and Zak Jones who'll be 27. While both are solid players, they aren't stars at all and aren't match winners like a Petracca or Bontempelli. In fact when I look across their list as a whole I actually can't see any player that would grab a game by the scruff of the neck deep in September or in an intense high pressured game.

I do wonder after Crouch and Jones who are their next layer of young talent that will replace these guys in 12 to 18 months time? There has been some talk of Bytel? But again he hasn't really proved much at all.

Unfortunately I think they missed a golden opportunity to grab Ben Hobbs with their first pick. He was perfect player to come in and just add a bit of rejuvenation to their inside midfield brigade and i was incredibly shocked they instead went for an outside flashy player. Paul Roos was a huge believer that a premium team is always built from the inside out starting with good contested players and Ben Hobbs just fits this bill perfectly. This is in no way a criticism of young NWM at all, but this selection reminds me so much of when we overlooked Ollie Wines for a flashy Jimmy Toumpas.

Their forward line is probably their great strength. King is already a star in my eyes. They'll build a handy forward line around him. Cooper Sharma was very Impressive in the last few games I watched him. Great work rate and certainly clunks the ball well. His game against Freo was bloody impressive. Looking forward to seeing Gresham back in action. Prior to injury who was one player who just gave me headaches everytime we played them.

Butler, Gresham, Higgins, Billings are good high half forward players who'll certainly add zip and speed around their forward half.

I have them missing the 8 next year.
 

staffonly

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I'm in the same boat as most opposition supporters on here who aren't really sure where their list is at.

They have Max King and Jack Steele who are high end talent, but then there's a significant drop.

I'm a big believer that midfield and defence certainly wins you premierships and when I look at the saints midfield brigade I see some glaring holes. They go into next year with Crouch who'll be 28 and Zak Jones who'll be 27. While both are solid players, they aren't stars at all and aren't match winners like a Petracca or Bontempelli. In fact when I look across their list as a whole I actually can't see any player that would grab a game by the scruff of the neck deep in September or in an intense high pressured game.

I do wonder after Crouch and Jones who are their next layer of young talent that will replace these guys in 12 to 18 months time? There has been some talk of Bytel? But again he hasn't really proved much at all.

Unfortunately I think they missed a golden opportunity to grab Ben Hobbs with their first pick. He was perfect player to come in and just add a bit of rejuvenation to their inside midfield brigade and i was incredibly shocked they instead went for an outside flashy player. Paul Roos was a huge believer that a premium team is always built from the inside out starting with good contested players and Ben Hobbs just fits this bill perfectly. This is in no way a criticism of young NWM at all, but this selection reminds me so much of when we overlooked Ollie Wines for a flashy Jimmy Toumpas.

Their forward line is probably their great strength. King is already a star in my eyes. They'll build a handy forward line around him. Cooper Sharma was very Impressive in the last few games I watched him. Great work rate and certainly clunks the ball well. His game against Freo was bloody impressive. Looking forward to seeing Gresham back in action. Prior to injury who was one player who just gave me headaches everytime we played them.

Butler, Gresham, Higgins, Billings are good high half forward players who'll certainly add zip and speed around their forward half.

I have them missing the 8 next year.

Hobbs wasn’t we needed. Steel and Crouch plus Bytal take the inside roles. We just delisted a inside mid due to excess stock.
Think this year Gresham Higgins Hunter Clark will all go through the middle all with elite qualities.
 

dazzledavey36

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Hobbs wasn’t we needed. Steel and Crouch plus Bytal take the inside roles. We just delisted a inside mid due to excess stock.
Think this year Gresham Higgins Hunter Clark will all go through the middle all with elite qualities.
Really? Excess Stock? I beg to differ. Looking at the list I'm seeing a pretty glaring hole in that department.

Crouch is 28 next year and not getting any quicker nor is he in your next premiership team. I pointed out that you need a layer of young wave of elite talent coming through and I'm not really seeing anyone on the list that has the potential to come in and take this midfield to another level.

You've named Bytel who at one stage last year was omitted for Dunstan.. the same bloke you then got rid off. Coming into his 4th year now and hasn't really proven anything to justify that he'll be a starting mid next year.

Your midfield depth is a glaring weakness, and nothing was done over the trade period/draft in rectifying that which is another concern.
 

staffonly

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Really? Excess Stock? I beg to differ. Looking at the list I'm seeing a pretty glaring hole in that department.

Crouch is 28 next year and not getting any quicker nor is he in your next premiership team. I pointed out that you need a layer of young wave of elite talent coming through and I'm not really seeing anyone on the list that has the potential to come in and take this midfield to another level.

You've named Bytel who at one stage last year was omitted for Dunstan.. the same bloke you then got rid off. Coming into his 4th year now and hasn't really proven anything to justify that he'll be a starting mid next year.

Your midfield depth is a glaring weakness, and nothing was done over the trade period/draft in rectifying that which is another concern.

Crouch is an elite inside mid should we turf him out should we?

If you knew anything of Bytal you would probably revisit your poorly informed comments. He missed his entire first season with a back injury and has been building from there.

I love how supporters of teams that win a premiership sit and pass judgement. Melbourne has two A Grade mids then a host of plodders. You know what that’s the general make up of every list.
 

dazzledavey36

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Crouch is an elite inside mid should we turf him out should we?

If you knew anything of Bytal you would probably revisit your poorly informed comments. He missed his entire first season with a back injury and has been building from there.

I love how supporters of teams that win a premiership sit and pass judgement. Melbourne has two A Grade mids then a host of plodders. You know what that’s the general make up of every list.
Why so sensitive?

I know Bytel had a back injury in his first year. I know that in his draft year he was touted as a potential top 10 pick had it not been for injury.

Also, on what basis is Brad Crouch an elite inside mid? The bloke has never been an All Australian midfielder, and besides winning a best and fairest for a crap Adelaide team in 2019 he hasn't achieved anything remotely that puts him in the elite midfield category. He's a honest battler like Nathan Jones was for us during our tough times.

I am not sure why you are turning this thread into a Melbourne bashing thread when all I have done is done an honest assessment on where I thought St Kilda's list is at.

I mean you're already so far off the mark saying that we only have 2 A graders with the rest being plodders. I can reel off 6 A graders already. But again, this isn't a Melbourne thread.
 

BrutThough

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Really? Excess Stock? I beg to differ. Looking at the list I'm seeing a pretty glaring hole in that department.

Crouch is 28 next year and not getting any quicker nor is he in your next premiership team. I pointed out that you need a layer of young wave of elite talent coming through and I'm not really seeing anyone on the list that has the potential to come in and take this midfield to another level.

You've named Bytel who at one stage last year was omitted for Dunstan.. the same bloke you then got rid off. Coming into his 4th year now and hasn't really proven anything to justify that he'll be a starting mid next year.

Your midfield depth is a glaring weakness, and nothing was done over the trade period/draft in rectifying that which is another concern.
Last thing our list needed was another slower, our inside mid. One of the comments throughout the season from our coaches was we had too many of that type already and had a few issues throughout the season having to play them all in the same game with our player availability issues. We needed to add some pace and foot skills into our midfield mix and there is no denying NWM has those traits (even if he is more of an outside mid).

We didnt trade in any midfielders but will be able to add back in Gresham and are going to move Clark into the midfield full time which adds some quality. And both offer just as much, if not more, than the midfielders who were traded this year. We also drafted 3 midfielders this year. So while they wont be expected to impact much next year, you are incorrect that we didnt do anything in the draft to add to our midfield.
 

dazzledavey36

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Last thing our list needed was another slower, our inside mid. One of the comments throughout the season from our coaches was we had too many of that type already and had a few issues throughout the season having to play them all in the same game with our player availability issues. We needed to add some pace and foot skills into our midfield mix and there is no denying NWM has those traits (even if he is more of an outside mid).

We didnt trade in any midfielders but will be able to add back in Gresham and are going to move Clark into the midfield full time which adds some quality. And both offer just as much, if not more, than the midfielders who were traded this year. We also drafted 3 midfielders this year. So while they wont be expected to impact much next year, you are incorrect that we didnt do anything in the draft to add to our midfield.
Fair point.
 

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staffonly

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Why so sensitive?

I know Bytel had a back injury in his first year. I know that in his draft year he was touted as a potential top 10 pick had it not been for injury.

Also, on what basis is Brad Crouch an elite inside mid? The bloke has never been an All Australian midfielder, and besides winning a best and fairest for a crap Adelaide team in 2019 he hasn't achieved anything remotely that puts him in the elite midfield category. He's a honest battler like Nathan Jones was for us during our tough times.

I am not sure why you are turning this thread into a Melbourne bashing thread when all I have done is done an honest assessment on where I thought St Kilda's list is at.

I mean you're already so far off the mark saying that we only have 2 A graders with the rest being plodders. I can reel off 6 A graders already. But again, this isn't a Melbourne thread.

2 A Grade mids that is.
In all that’s we have one.
 

lewdogs

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I'm in the same boat as most opposition supporters on here who aren't really sure where their list is at.

They have Max King and Jack Steele who are high end talent, but then there's a significant drop.

I'm a big believer that midfield and defence certainly wins you premierships and when I look at the saints midfield brigade I see some glaring holes. They go into next year with Crouch who'll be 28 and Zak Jones who'll be 27. While both are solid players, they aren't stars at all and aren't match winners like a Petracca or Bontempelli. In fact when I look across their list as a whole I actually can't see any player that would grab a game by the scruff of the neck deep in September or in an intense high pressured game.

I do wonder after Crouch and Jones who are their next layer of young talent that will replace these guys in 12 to 18 months time? There has been some talk of Bytel? But again he hasn't really proved much at all.

Unfortunately I think they missed a golden opportunity to grab Ben Hobbs with their first pick. He was perfect player to come in and just add a bit of rejuvenation to their inside midfield brigade and i was incredibly shocked they instead went for an outside flashy player. Paul Roos was a huge believer that a premium team is always built from the inside out starting with good contested players and Ben Hobbs just fits this bill perfectly. This is in no way a criticism of young NWM at all, but this selection reminds me so much of when we overlooked Ollie Wines for a flashy Jimmy Toumpas.

Their forward line is probably their great strength. King is already a star in my eyes. They'll build a handy forward line around him. Cooper Sharma was very Impressive in the last few games I watched him. Great work rate and certainly clunks the ball well. His game against Freo was bloody impressive. Looking forward to seeing Gresham back in action. Prior to injury who was one player who just gave me headaches everytime we played them.

Butler, Gresham, Higgins, Billings are good high half forward players who'll certainly add zip and speed around their forward half.

I have them missing the 8 next year.
Crouch and Jones aren't match winners like Petracca and Bont?

Jeez thanks for the truth bomb. If those two were like the players you describe we'd have the three best mids in the competition.
 

ScrappyDo

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StKilda's list team have been very consistent in stating they believe there is sufficient midfield talent on the list, even though it's not yet come to fruition.

To back this up, last year they drafted Matty Allison(over O'Driscoll, Berry and Poulter) a tall skinny AF utility, and Tom Highmore a mature medium defender. In the MSD they selected a Ruckman and a medium forward.
Also favoring Bytel at the eventual expense of Luke Dunstan.

With unproven kids you can only go on draft number, but with exposed for that obvious becomes irrelevant. StKilda's high end talents are Gresham, Clark and Bytel, all of whom have had major setbacks (including being under Allen ******* Richardson that great destroyer of talent) and haven't been on the park as a group at any stage so far.
This year it was NWM and the 2 NGA boys that are all supposed to become mids of some sort eventually.

Saints supporters haven't yet had the opportunity to actually see our best team fit and on the field, so we can only go off what our eyes tell us and surmise that "if" our ducks line up then the result could be surprisingly good. There's definitely some real talent in the under 24 group, more so that the over 24 group. We can only wait and see if Ratten and Co can get them going.
 

aussierulesrules

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Not a lot of top talent in that group though, Only 3 are top 20 picks and those 3 have had a few years in the system.

Gresham 2015 pick 18
Coffield 2017 pick 8
Clark 2017 pick 9
Bytel 2018 pick 41
Allison 2020 pick 26
Connolly 2019 pick 64
Byrnes 2019 pick 52
Sharman mid season rookie

They just picked up Wanganeen-Milera who looks a future jet wingman, the next few years they need to focus on drafting top talented midfielders with their first round picks. Trading for Ben King which will cost 2 first rounders will be a mistake, pick him up in 4-5 years when the new young midfield is starting to peak.
You said it yourself previously though, add a Tom Mitchell type immediately and we could be cooking with gas, so surely if we get Bing, and have a forwardline of Ming, Bing, Membrey, Sharman, Gresham (?), Billings, Higgins and Butler, we’d be a mega-appealing prospect for a Tom Mitchell type, and would have the chance of adding them through FA.

Then we’d be likely to be cooking with serious gas, while the likes of Steele, Marshall, Hill, Jones and co are still in their prime years.

Rather than waiting the 4-5 years it would take for these mids you suggest we should get instead of Bing (next year and the year after) to begin even entering their prime years.
 

Blackas87

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You said it yourself previously though, add a Tom Mitchell type immediately and we could be cooking with gas, so surely if we get Bing, and have a forwardline of Ming, Bing, Membrey, Sharman, Gresham (?), Billings, Higgins and Butler, we’d be a mega-appealing prospect for a Tom Mitchell type, and would have the chance of adding them through FA.

Then we’d be likely to be cooking with serious gas, while the likes of Steele, Marshall, Hill, Jones and co are still in their prime years.

Rather than waiting the 4-5 years it would take for these mids you suggest we should get instead of Bing (next year and the year after) to begin even entering their prime years.
Not easy to get a Tom Mitchell level player though and when he was available St Kilda decided to go the draft which is a different strategy to previous years of recruiting ready made players.

I just don’t think currently St Kilda’s midfield is up to contending and now it’s time to switch focus and build one for the future.
 

puppy_dog7

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I'm in the same boat as most opposition supporters on here who aren't really sure where their list is at.

They have Max King and Jack Steele who are high end talent, but then there's a significant drop.

I'm a big believer that midfield and defence certainly wins you premierships and when I look at the saints midfield brigade I see some glaring holes. They go into next year with Crouch who'll be 28 and Zak Jones who'll be 27. While both are solid players, they aren't stars at all and aren't match winners like a Petracca or Bontempelli. In fact when I look across their list as a whole I actually can't see any player that would grab a game by the scruff of the neck deep in September or in an intense high pressured game.

I do wonder after Crouch and Jones who are their next layer of young talent that will replace these guys in 12 to 18 months time? There has been some talk of Bytel? But again he hasn't really proved much at all.

Unfortunately I think they missed a golden opportunity to grab Ben Hobbs with their first pick. He was perfect player to come in and just add a bit of rejuvenation to their inside midfield brigade and i was incredibly shocked they instead went for an outside flashy player. Paul Roos was a huge believer that a premium team is always built from the inside out starting with good contested players and Ben Hobbs just fits this bill perfectly. This is in no way a criticism of young NWM at all, but this selection reminds me so much of when we overlooked Ollie Wines for a flashy Jimmy Toumpas.

Their forward line is probably their great strength. King is already a star in my eyes. They'll build a handy forward line around him. Cooper Sharma was very Impressive in the last few games I watched him. Great work rate and certainly clunks the ball well. His game against Freo was bloody impressive. Looking forward to seeing Gresham back in action. Prior to injury who was one player who just gave me headaches everytime we played them.

Butler, Gresham, Higgins, Billings are good high half forward players who'll certainly add zip and speed around their forward half.

I have them missing the 8 next year.
Not easy to get a Tom Mitchell level player though and when he was available St Kilda decided to go the draft which is a different strategy to previous years of recruiting ready made players.

I just don’t think currently St Kilda’s midfield is up to contending and now it’s time to switch focus and build one for the future.
You talk about top end draft talent.
One of our best players of the last decade (Jack Steven) was a pick in the 40’s, as was Rory Sloane, as was Lachie Neale.
Fyfe and Tom Mitchell went picks 20&21 respectively.

You don’t always need high draft picks to get very good players.

For us as an example, inside the 4 walls at Moorabbin were very Bullish on young Byrnes and Bytel. All it takes is one of Clark, Gresham, Byrnes, Bytel etc to become a very good player to help Steele, Crouch, Jones, and co and we’re off.
If they don’t then Free Agency is there to bring in another mid.
 

Blackas87

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You talk about top end draft talent.
One of our best players of the last decade (Jack Steven) was a pick in the 40’s, as was Rory Sloane, as was Lachie Neale.
Fyfe and Tom Mitchell went picks 20&21 respectively.

You don’t always need high draft picks to get very good players.

For us as an example, inside the 4 walls at Moorabbin were very Bullish on young Byrnes and Bytel. All it takes is one of Clark, Gresham, Byrnes, Bytel etc to become a very good player to help Steele, Crouch, Jones, and co and we’re off.
If they don’t then Free Agency is there to bring in another mid.
Of course any player can exceed their draft selection (it’s not an exact science) but it’s just more likely to get top players in the first round. Not all first round picks are going to good players but the chances are much higher than players selected in the later rounds.

Tom Mitchell was a father son selection original bid pick 16 by Fremantle before the points system was introduced, Jack Steele GWS Giant academy player was also bid on at pick 16 by North Melbourne before the points system was introduced.

This years Brownlow for example, 9 of the top 10 were selected or had a bid placed on them in the first round of the draft, only Jarryd Lyons was not a first round pick.

I just look at the top teams and they all seem to have 2 elite midfielders.
Melbourne: Petracca and Oliver
Bulldogs: Bont and Macrae
Port: Wines and Boak
Brisbane: Neale and Lyons
Geelong: Dangerfield and Selwood (although they are slowing down)
Sydney: Parker and Mills
Essendon: Merrett and Parish (I had Essendon bottom 4 before the 2021 season but Parish (pick 5) becoming an elite mid helped turn Essendon into a finals team.

St Kilda just have Steele in the elite category at the moment and I just thought getting Tom Mitchell this off season would of given St Kilda a midfield that would contend with the top 4. Defence and forward lines look decent already it’s just the midfield behind the top teams.

Sure maybe one of Gresham, Clark, Byrnes or Bytel might make a huge leap and become that top elite mid and if they do that would take St Kilda to another level, if they don’t I think St Kilda’s focus should be finding an elite mid partner for Steele and best chance of that would be through the first round of the draft.
 

puppy_dog7

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Of course any player can exceed their draft selection (it’s not an exact science) but it’s just more likely to get top players in the first round. Not all first round picks are going to good players but the chances are much higher than players selected in the later rounds.

Tom Mitchell was a father son selection original bid pick 16 by Fremantle before the points system was introduced, Jack Steele GWS Giant academy player was also bid on at pick 16 by North Melbourne before the points system was introduced.

This years Brownlow for example, 9 of the top 10 were selected or had a bid placed on them in the first round of the draft, only Jarryd Lyons was not a first round pick.

I just look at the top teams and they all seem to have 2 elite midfielders.
Melbourne: Petracca and Oliver
Bulldogs: Bont and Macrae
Port: Wines and Boak
Brisbane: Neale and Lyons
Geelong: Dangerfield and Selwood (although they are slowing down)
Sydney: Parker and Mills
Essendon: Merrett and Parish (I had Essendon bottom 4 before the 2021 season but Parish (pick 5) becoming an elite mid helped turn Essendon into a finals team.

St Kilda just have Steele in the elite category at the moment and I just thought getting Tom Mitchell this off season would of given St Kilda a midfield that would contend with the top 4. Defence and forward lines look decent already it’s just the midfield behind the top teams.

Sure maybe one of Gresham, Clark, Byrnes or Bytel might make a huge leap and become that top elite mid and if they do that would take St Kilda to another level, if they don’t I think St Kilda’s focus should be finding an elite mid partner for Steele and best chance of that would be through the first round of the draft.
That is exactly what I said…

Also I’d say it’d hardly be a “huge” leap for Gresh and Clark.

Gresh was already trending to be that player. He’s someone that has kicked 35 goals in his 2nd season before moving more into the midfield and before getting injured was actually our best clearance player. Only concern with him is he’s had 2 very interrupted years with injuries.

Clark has the attributes, his issue has been more fitness and consistency, but he’s only 22 so he should be starting to become the player we expect he’ll be in the next year or 2.
 
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aussierulesrules

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Of course any player can exceed their draft selection (it’s not an exact science) but it’s just more likely to get top players in the first round. Not all first round picks are going to good players but the chances are much higher than players selected in the later rounds.

Tom Mitchell was a father son selection original bid pick 16 by Fremantle before the points system was introduced, Jack Steele GWS Giant academy player was also bid on at pick 16 by North Melbourne before the points system was introduced.

This years Brownlow for example, 9 of the top 10 were selected or had a bid placed on them in the first round of the draft, only Jarryd Lyons was not a first round pick.

I just look at the top teams and they all seem to have 2 elite midfielders.
Melbourne: Petracca and Oliver
Bulldogs: Bont and Macrae
Port: Wines and Boak
Brisbane: Neale and Lyons
Geelong: Dangerfield and Selwood (although they are slowing down)
Sydney: Parker and Mills
Essendon: Merrett and Parish (I had Essendon bottom 4 before the 2021 season but Parish (pick 5) becoming an elite mid helped turn Essendon into a finals team.

St Kilda just have Steele in the elite category at the moment and I just thought getting Tom Mitchell this off season would of given St Kilda a midfield that would contend with the top 4. Defence and forward lines look decent already it’s just the midfield behind the top teams.

Sure maybe one of Gresham, Clark, Byrnes or Bytel might make a huge leap and become that top elite mid and if they do that would take St Kilda to another level, if they don’t I think St Kilda’s focus should be finding an elite mid partner for Steele and best chance of that would be through the first round of the draft.
In each of the last two seasons Gresham has looked like he was absolutely on the verge of a breakout year in the midfield, prior to his seasons being derailed by injury each time.

Going into the 2020 season he and Petracca were the two guys who I thought off the back of their outstanding/dominant preseason games and levels of improved fitness were going to have big breakout years, and it of course proved to be the case for Petracca, but then Gresh did a 10 week knee injury halfway through our R1 game, and had lost a chunk of fitness when the season resumed after the lockdown- so wasn’t as good as I expect he would have been had he not done the knee- but he was still good enough to get Brownlow votes in 3 of his last 6 games (before the back injury ended his year), and then this year, even though he had a very interrupted lead-in to the season, and was very underdone, he got another Brownlow vote in R1- with 28 disposals, from just 67% game time- so the 4th time in 7 games that he’d gotten Brownlow votes, and then the following week, off just 75% game time, he followed it up with an even better game, of 29 disposals, 10 inside-50’s, 9 clearances and 1 goal.

When he was only just working up to full fitness. He then ruptured his Achilles early the following week and missed the rest of the year.

So I have not a shadow of doubt that had he not had each of the last two seasons derailed by injury that he would by now have been universally seen as at worst our 2nd best player, and would be that 2nd banana to Steele that you say we need. He was heading hard and fast in that direction, as getting Brownlow votes in 4 of his last 8 completed games would suggest

He was after all only 23yo when he played his last game, was a first round draft pick and is a proven matchwinner.

Fitness was the main thing that had always held him back from being as dominant in the midfield as he was starting to become in the forwardline, but leading into 2020 he’d shed a bunch of kgs and was looking way fitter than he ever had with us. In his draft year he averaged 29 disposals a game in the TAC Cup, so it was only a matter of time before he started really doing the business in the midfield at AFL level.

Now obviously having two years in a row derailed by pretty significant injuries is far from ideal, but if he gets back to full fitness and has a good run at it from here, I don’t see why he won’t get up to the level required to help really push our midfield up a notch or two.

Hunter Clark is a somewhat similar case. Kicked ass in the midfield in his draft year, but hasn’t had the fitness or initially strength required to play there much at AFL level, but this year he started there in R1 and against the beastly GWS inside crew had 24 disposals (12 contested), 7 clearances, 5 inside 50’s, 5 rebound 50’s, 5 tackles and got in the coaches votes, but then with Jones and Crouch returning over the next two weeks respectively, he didn’t really get a look in there again until his bad concussion derailed his season.

Surely this year we’ll prioritise his midfield development though, given the plethora of options we have for HB, as like Gresh, he clearly has the talent to gun it up in there. He has talent to burn.

Then Bytel was an absolute ball-pig in the juniors until his back injury, and was one of the highest rated of that 2018 superdraft class going into that year, and prioritising his development is a huge part of the reason we’ve let Dunstan go.
 
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Blackas87

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That is exactly what I said…
Yeah you’re relying on one of Gresham, Clark, Byrnes and Bytel becoming elite players saying internally the club rates highly, which is what every club does with their players.

I’m saying those players are unlikely to become top elite mids of the competition, not impossible but unlikely.
 

Blackas87

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In each of the last two seasons Gresham has looked like he was absolutely on the verge of a breakout year in the midfield, prior to his seasons being derailed by injury each time.

Going into the 2020 season he and Petracca were the two guys who I thought off the back of their outstanding/dominant preseason games and levels of improved fitness were going to have big breakout years, and it of course proved to be the case for Petracca, but then Gresh did a 10 week knee injury halfway through our R1 game, and had lost a chunk of fitness when the season resumed after the lockdown- so wasn’t as good as I expect he would have been had he not done the knee- but he was still good enough to get Brownlow votes in 3 of his last 6 games (before the back injury ended his year), and then this year, even though he had a very interrupted lead-in to the season, and was very underdone, he got another Brownlow vote in R1- with 28 disposals, from just 67% game time- so the 4th time in 7 games that he’d gotten Brownlow votes, and then the following week, off just 75% game time, he followed it up with an even better game, of 29 disposals, 10 inside-50’s, 9 clearances and 1 goal.

When he was only just working up to full fitness. He then ruptured his Achilles early the following week and missed the rest of the year.

So I have not a shadow of doubt that had he not had each of the last two seasons derailed by injury that he would by now have been universally seen as at worst our 2nd best player, and would be that 2nd banana to Steele that you say we need. He was heading hard and fast in that direction, as getting Brownlow votes in 4 of his last 8 completed games would suggest

He was after all only 23yo when he played his last game, was a first round draft pick and is a proven matchwinner.

Fitness was the main thing that had always held him back from being as dominant in the midfield as he was starting to become in the forwardline, but leading into 2020 he’d shed a bunch of kgs and was looking way fitter than he ever had with us. In his draft year he averaged 29 disposals a game in the TAC Cup, so it was only a matter of time before he started really doing the business in the midfield at AFL level.

Now obviously having two years in a row derailed by pretty significant injuries is far from ideal, but if he gets back to full fitness and has a good run at it from here, I don’t see why he won’t get up to the level required to help really push our midfield up a notch or two.

Hunter Clark is a somewhat similar case. Kicked ass in the midfield in his draft year, but hasn’t had the fitness or initially strength required to play there much at AFL level, but this year he started there in R1 and against the beastly GWS inside crew had 24 disposals (12 contested), 7 clearances, 5 inside 50’s, 5 rebound 50’s, 5 tackles and got in the coaches votes, but then with Jones and Crouch returning over the next two weeks respectively, he didn’t really get a look in there again until his bad concussion derailed his season.

Surely this year we’ll prioritise his midfield development given the plethora of options we have for HB, as like Gresh, he clearly has the talent to gun it up in there. He has talent to burn.
Yeah Gresham looked alight in 2020. Hopefully he’s recovered and can have a big off-season and take his game to another level. He’s probably the one most likely from what I’ve seen, tough having a serious injury where could of had a really good year.
 

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