Who feels sorry for St Kilda - the only drought remaining!

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g_TRAIN

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St Kilda are where North was a few years ago under Brad Scott. Mid table finishes, miss out on elite talent, no stars.
We should have done a rebuild in 2016 but instead we topped up with spuds like Polec. Don't make the same mistakes.
I wouldn't say that. (But I agree to no topping up) We have a totally different list demographic to North in 2016.

In 2016 North had 13 players 28 years or over including 7 over 30 and they were good players too. (Harvey, Wells, Dal Santo, Petrie, etc)

We don't have any ageing players on our list apart from Ryder, Geary, and Hannebery.

Hannebery if he plays is a bonus so I'm not even going to count him so Ryder is the only best 22 player over 28.

One thing we do have is a group of players in the prime-age range for improvement. (22-26 bracket)
 

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Sphynx

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I wouldn't say that. (But I agree to no topping up) We have a totally different list demographic to North in 2016.

In 2016 North had 13 players 28 years or over including 7 over 30 and they were good players too. (Harvey, Wells, Dal Santo, Petrie, etc)

We don't have any ageing players on our list apart from Ryder, Geary, and Hannebery.

Hannebery if he plays is a bonus so I'm not even going to count him so Ryder is the only best 22 player over 28.

One thing we do have is a group of players in the prime-age range for improvement. (22-26 bracket)


We also had Cunnington at a similar age to Steele and Ben Brown in his 3rd season kicking 40+ goals.

So not an outrageous comparison.

I agree in principle you probably have a bit more depth in the younger brigade.

However we'd just drafted McDonald who was highly rated, as well as Durdin and McKay. Dumont was a 3rd year mid getting it around 18 times a game also. Simpkin was drafted at the end of that year. Mason Wood was doing OK and Ryan Clarke picked up a rising star nom and averaged 18 touches a game in his first season.

It's easy to say it in hindsight with some of these types, but in the moment we looked like we had a decent mix also.


When you look back, it pales in comparison to the group of young players, particularly mids, we've currently amassed. It's only going to get more and more stronger in the next couple of seasons. We haven't really had a busted R1 pick in a while 5-6 drafts, which helps immensely.


I'm sure they don't like reminding, but St Kilda would look a whole lot different at the moment with Petracca in the side, even just a half decent #1 like Scully or Swallow.

Crazy to think that the Patton, Boyd and McCartin all went #1 within 4 years of each other. I don't think I've ever been more wrong on an 18 year old as I was with Tom Boyd, he looked like a multiple Coleman medalist as a 17 year old for the Ranges.
 
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lewdogs

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St Kilda are where North was a few years ago under Brad Scott. Mid table finishes, miss out on elite talent, no stars.
We should have done a rebuild in 2016 but instead we topped up with spuds like Polec. Don't make the same mistakes.
That's a very long bow to draw.
 

master bate

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Crazy to think that the Patton, Boyd and McCartin all went #1 within 4 years of each other. I don't think I've ever been more wrong on an 18 year old as I was with Tom Boyd, he looked like a multiple Coleman medalist as a 17 year old for the Ranges.
The craziest thing in hindsight (no doubt influenced by decades of footy history and the talent of successful and important guys like N Riewoldt, Hawkins, Buddy, Trav Cloke etc) was the Saints taking McCartin over Petracca to keep up with the likes of Daniher, Hogan, Patton and particularly Boyd getting traded to the Dogs. They thought they had to have a gun key forward to succeed, where as time goes on it's the star mids who matter more.

The Dees would've taken McCartin at 2 or 3 so he was definitely highly rated but his lack of size and athleticism made it pretty clear he shouldn't have been pick 1. A shame he never got a fair crack at showing his talent though.

Boyd was unstoppable as a junior and could've had a long career if not for physical and mental health concerns (and good for him doing what's right for him). His trade got him a flag and got him paid but to this day I reckon that contract was just incredibly unfair for a teenager. Total greed from his manager really. That said, I think he was always going to have to ruck to get the most value out of himself, at least until he really went from a boy to a man in his mid 20's. The ruck fired him up and gave him the freedom to fly for marks and find the ball.

Patton was the one I thought would just end up like a Jono Brown type beast. Big, physical, aggressive, booming kick. Not quite the athleticism of Boyd but more aggression at the contest which at least back then seemed more important. Cruelled by knee injuries.

Now I doubt clubs even look at key forwards in the first round unless they're incredible athletes. Doesn't matter how strong you are you've got to be able to move like a midfielder.
 

master bate

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Not sure Gary Buckenara's opinion on other's lists should ever be taken seriously.
That's true, it's just more it's amazing how the opinion on players change when the whole team finds a new level or two.

For the Saints the most obvious fix is in fitness. Injuries played a part for sure, but the Saints in the first half of the season were about as unfit as any side with a decent age profile as I can remember.

Absolutely no surprise that the fitness guy go the chop. The Saints looked like they were trained for 17 minute quarters again. No surprises the Saints looked better in the back half of the season as match fitness became more important than summer work.
 

Sphynx

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The craziest thing in hindsight (no doubt influenced by decades of footy history and the talent of successful and important guys like N Riewoldt, Hawkins, Buddy, Trav Cloke etc) was the Saints taking McCartin over Petracca to keep up with the likes of Daniher, Hogan, Patton and particularly Boyd getting traded to the Dogs. They thought they had to have a gun key forward to succeed, where as time goes on it's the star mids who matter more.

The Dees would've taken McCartin at 2 or 3 so he was definitely highly rated but his lack of size and athleticism made it pretty clear he shouldn't have been pick 1. A shame he never got a fair crack at showing his talent though.

Boyd was unstoppable as a junior and could've had a long career if not for physical and mental health concerns (and good for him doing what's right for him). His trade got him a flag and got him paid but to this day I reckon that contract was just incredibly unfair for a teenager. Total greed from his manager really. That said, I think he was always going to have to ruck to get the most value out of himself, at least until he really went from a boy to a man in his mid 20's. The ruck fired him up and gave him the freedom to fly for marks and find the ball.

Patton was the one I thought would just end up like a Jono Brown type beast. Big, physical, aggressive, booming kick. Not quite the athleticism of Boyd but more aggression at the contest which at least back then seemed more important. Cruelled by knee injuries.

Now I doubt clubs even look at key forwards in the first round unless they're incredible athletes. Doesn't matter how strong you are you've got to be able to move like a midfielder.
Boyd was ahead of Patton and McCartin even as a 17 year old in my memory.

He use to get double teamed playing for Eastern even as an underager. He was physically enormous, but he could move, was a great mark, good kick for goal etc.

He looked like a better version of Hawkins at the same age.

Sliding door moments, but you wonder if he might have turned out different had he been drafted straight to a established club. 2016 was out of the box, his confidence was already shot by that point.
 

Leeda

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Boyd was ahead of Patton and McCartin even as a 17 year old in my memory.

He use to get double teamed playing for Eastern even as an underager. He was physically enormous, but he could move, was a great mark, good kick for goal etc.

He looked like a better version of Hawkins at the same age.

Sliding door moments, but you wonder if he might have turned out different had he been drafted straight to a established club. 2016 was out of the box, his confidence was already shot by that point.
watering eyes…no really..
 

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master bate

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Boyd was ahead of Patton and McCartin even as a 17 year old in my memory.

He use to get double teamed playing for Eastern even as an underager. He was physically enormous, but he could move, was a great mark, good kick for goal etc.

He looked like a better version of Hawkins at the same age.

Sliding door moments, but you wonder if he might have turned out different had he been drafted straight to a established club. 2016 was out of the box, his confidence was already shot by that point.
Boyd had the higher ceiling for sure, but Patton probably came in at a higher floor being a bit more physical early. Boyd had that young Hawkins, this might take a while vibe. Patton was similar but a bit more natural at crashing and bashing I think.

Yeah that was the thing about Boyd, he went interstate and clearly didn't settle but also escaped a lot of pick 1 stress in year 1 by being at the Giants. The guys who've gone up North have historically had a way better run in the media than the poor kids in Melbourne.

But then he gets his wish to return home but it comes with the biggest contract and trade deal we've seen in years. Poor guy replaced the stress of being away from home with an even bigger stress.

His grand final was epic but he rucked almost the full prelim against Mumford and held his own at 21. The ruck was such a great position for him. He needed to somehow go to a Victorian team that had the luxury of working him in to a side slowly and running a lot of deflection for him. Does a club like that exist? Bevo tried his absolute best. Funnily enough Geelong might've been the one club that could've controlled the local media and fan opinion a bit and not rush him in to the side too. And not being on a million a year after a handful of games would've helped too.
 

conrad_437

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That's true, it's just more it's amazing how the opinion on players change when the whole team finds a new level or two.

For the Saints the most obvious fix is in fitness. Injuries played a part for sure, but the Saints in the first half of the season were about as unfit as any side with a decent age profile as I can remember.

Absolutely no surprise that the fitness guy go the chop. The Saints looked like they were trained for 17 minute quarters again. No surprises the Saints looked better in the back half of the season as match fitness became more important than summer work.
100%. With Melbourne, there were probably 3 A graders in 2020 (Petracca, Gawn, Oliver). Lever and May were in that B+ category and Salem was a good player without having a massive influence. Now those in addition to Fritsch have each probably crossed that barrier into A-grade terriroty.

With the Saints, I feel that they just don't have that elite talent in comparison to the Dogs and the Dees. Steele and King are the obvious ones. Marshall has A-grade potential but injuries have started to curtail that. Clark is a gun but I fear that some fans are overhyping him. Seriously, I saw someone post that "Clark could be Bont level". Aside from that, I just fail to see the players that can genuinely take them deep into the finals unless they do some serious drafting. You'd hate to see them waste King's prime years (and Steele's for that matter).

You're certainly right about fitness. For teams like Melbourne and St Kilda to be in similar situations last year, their juxtaposition in terms of fitness in 2021 was incredible.
 

master bate

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100%. With Melbourne, there were probably 3 A graders in 2020 (Petracca, Gawn, Oliver). Lever and May were in that B+ category and Salem was a good player without having a massive influence. Now those in addition to Fritsch have each probably crossed that barrier into A-grade terriroty.

With the Saints, I feel that they just don't have that elite talent in comparison to the Dogs and the Dees. Steele and King are the obvious ones. Marshall has A-grade potential but injuries have started to curtail that. Clark is a gun but I fear that some fans are overhyping him. Seriously, I saw someone post that "Clark could be Bont level". Aside from that, I just fail to see the players that can genuinely take them deep into the finals unless they do some serious drafting. You'd hate to see them waste King's prime years (and Steele's for that matter).

You're certainly right about fitness. For teams like Melbourne and St Kilda to be in similar situations last year, their juxtaposition in terms of fitness in 2021 was incredible.
May should've been All Aus in 2020 but yeah Lever, Salem and Fritsch took the leap which I wouldn't have predicted and no one probably took a leap bigger than Oliver because he had a frustrating 2020 just unsure of his role, his best games were great but too many of his games were just ok. Then he came out playing like he should this year and was probably the best player in the comp in terms of consistency, hence the coaches award.

I can see Hunter Clark being a superstar in 2023. Bont's a bit too high, but a top 10 in the comp. But I don't think he does that in one year. He needs to nail a position, ideally in the midfield, for a season first. Gresham could be an A grader too, but again, he hasn't had that consolidated year. With King, Steele and Marshall that's suddenly 5. 6 or 7 seems a stretch for now, but the Saints probably need a steadying year then a breakout year. They weren't that far of Melbourne 2020 in some respects but I also think they are in other respects given how bad it got at times this year.

Get to 5 genuine A graders and then all of a sudden Howard, Wilkie, Membrey, Sinclair, Billings, Hill, Jones, Crouch all look very good B to B+ types. Get the young kids coming on (which aren't many so far but might be by 2023) and you've got a strong team.
 

g_TRAIN

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100%. With Melbourne, there were probably 3 A graders in 2020 (Petracca, Gawn, Oliver). Lever and May were in that B+ category and Salem was a good player without having a massive influence. Now those in addition to Fritsch have each probably crossed that barrier into A-grade terriroty.

With the Saints, I feel that they just don't have that elite talent in comparison to the Dogs and the Dees. Steele and King are the obvious ones. Marshall has A-grade potential but injuries have started to curtail that. Clark is a gun but I fear that some fans are overhyping him. Seriously, I saw someone post that "Clark could be Bont level". Aside from that, I just fail to see the players that can genuinely take them deep into the finals unless they do some serious drafting. You'd hate to see them waste King's prime years (and Steele's for that matter).

You're certainly right about fitness. For teams like Melbourne and St Kilda to be in similar situations last year, their juxtaposition in terms of fitness in 2021 was incredible.
Next year will be a big year for Clark. He needs to show something but I'm prepared to give him the benefit of doubt because he's still young and his whole year was destroyed by injury and poor form by the whole team when he was playing.

If he were to come out and dominate in 2022 it wouldn't be a total surprise, Petrecca is a good example of how players sometimes just have break-out years. Pre 2020 he was an overrated half-forward barely kicking a goal a game and averaging less than 20 touches.

We have a lot of players in the same boat as Clark but he's one who at least on the surface appears to have the talent to really kick on.
 

g_TRAIN

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May should've been All Aus in 2020 but yeah Lever, Salem and Fritsch took the leap which I wouldn't have predicted and no one probably took a leap bigger than Oliver because he had a frustrating 2020 just unsure of his role, his best games were great but too many of his games were just ok. Then he came out playing like he should this year and was probably the best player in the comp in terms of consistency, hence the coaches award.

I can see Hunter Clark being a superstar in 2023. Bont's a bit too high, but a top 10 in the comp. But I don't think he does that in one year. He needs to nail a position, ideally in the midfield, for a season first. Gresham could be an A grader too, but again, he hasn't had that consolidated year. With King, Steele and Marshall that's suddenly 5. 6 or 7 seems a stretch for now, but the Saints probably need a steadying year then a breakout year. They weren't that far of Melbourne 2020 in some respects but I also think they are in other respects given how bad it got at times this year.

Get to 5 genuine A graders and then all of a sudden Howard, Wilkie, Membrey, Sinclair, Billings, Hill, Jones, Crouch all look very good B to B+ types. Get the young kids coming on (which aren't many so far but might be by 2023) and you've got a strong team.
Good post. There is no reason to say we can't have players like Salem, Fritsch, etc who improve massively in 2022.

Gresham I almost forgot about him but he's a bloke who kicked almost 40 goals in his 3rd year that hasn't really had a good run at it since.

It may not happen but guys like Sharman and Highmore show a lot of potential. Even Higgins I think is massively underrated as far as his ceiling goes. Still very young and played some almost phenomenal games this year. That game against Sydney where he kicked 1.6 and had 10 or 11 marks and 25 touches showed what he can do.
 

master bate

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Good post. There is no reason to say we can't have players like Salem, Fritsch, etc who improve massively in 2022.

Gresham I almost forgot about him but he's a bloke who kicked almost 40 goals in his 3rd year that hasn't really had a good run at it since.

It may not happen but guys like Sharman and Highmore show a lot of potential. Even Higgins I think is massively underrated as far as his ceiling goes. Still very young and played some almost phenomenal games this year. That game against Sydney where he kicked 1.6 and had 10 or 11 marks and 25 touches showed what he can do.
Salem has been a super talent and consistently solid player for a long time though, he improved a lot in 2020 then went to a new level this year. Clark and Gresham are the types of player who could do that, maybe at a pinch Billings but it's probably too late now. I don't think just any random player can rise like that.

Agree on Higgins' potential. Unfortunately that 1.6 game also showed the bad part of Higgins. He made some truly horrific decisions with shots on goal. Playing on, rushing a set shot routine in to about 5 seconds flat. It was a great performance of talent to get the ball but a really bad failure from him but also the Saints senior players, coaches, even the runner to not settle him down and be professional to finish his work. I don't worry about his talent, but I do worry a bit about a guy who cuts and runs from Richmond when their development record has been so strong. He'll need a fair bit of coaching to be the player he should become.
 

Enclosed_Animal

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How close they got in 2009/10 really does mask how badly they blew 2005. Ahead at 3QT at the MCG with a grand final waiting against another non-Vic team off a day's less break. Imagine how different today's AFL might look if Grant Thomas was a premiership coach instead of the game's loudest outsider.
Should have won a few since 66 to be honest. That is what kills Saints fans more than anything. Yes we have been horrible for long periods such as the 80s, and the last decade or so. But in the last 50 years, we should have pinched at least one of the below ...

1971 - Saints lead by 27 points at the 15 minute mark of the third quarter of the GF. Paul Hudson concussed. Hawks kick 7.3 in the final quarter including 4 from Bob f***in Keddie

1997 - Lead by 13 points at half time of the GF. Shane F***in Ellen plays forward (after Modra's ACL in the prelim) and kicks 5. Beaten by a Jarman masterclass

2004 - Lose prelim to Port (in Adelaide) by a kick. Momentum killed after the crowd invades for Gherig's 100. Lions were cooked in the GF

2005 - Ahead deep in the third of the PF, but Sydney blow us away kicking the last 7 goals of the game (injuries crippled us that year)

2009 - Undoubtedly the best 2 sides of 09 playing off in the GF (after both being 13-0). At halftime of the GF, Saints were +22 I50. The average leading margin of a +20 I50 differential at halftime is 49 points. We led by a goal. Eventually lose the game by a kick (after Scarletts toe poke and Hawkins poster). Still the toughest game of football I have seen

2010 - Draw. Had all the momentum and just needed a lucky bounce or extra-time

We have had teams that were certainly good enough. Just never quite got there
 
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g_TRAIN

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Salem has been a super talent and consistently solid player for a long time though, he improved a lot in 2020 then went to a new level this year. Clark and Gresham are the types of player who could do that, maybe at a pinch Billings but it's probably too late now. I don't think just any random player can rise like that.

Agree on Higgins' potential. Unfortunately that 1.6 game also showed the bad part of Higgins. He made some truly horrific decisions with shots on goal. Playing on, rushing a set shot routine in to about 5 seconds flat. It was a great performance of talent to get the ball but a really bad failure from him but also the Saints senior players, coaches, even the runner to not settle him down and be professional to finish his work. I don't worry about his talent, but I do worry a bit about a guy who cuts and runs from Richmond when their development record has been so strong. He'll need a fair bit of coaching to be the player he should become.
I don't think Billing can raise his game to an AA level but he could still have a career-best year which would mean pretty high-level football.

He played almost all of 2021 with plantar fasciitis and groin issues so didn't train at all.

He's one of not too many in the league who is capable of averaging >20 and 1
 

staffonly

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Salem has been a super talent and consistently solid player for a long time though, he improved a lot in 2020 then went to a new level this year. Clark and Gresham are the types of player who could do that, maybe at a pinch Billings but it's probably too late now. I don't think just any random player can rise like that.

Agree on Higgins' potential. Unfortunately that 1.6 game also showed the bad part of Higgins. He made some truly horrific decisions with shots on goal. Playing on, rushing a set shot routine in to about 5 seconds flat. It was a great performance of talent to get the ball but a really bad failure from him but also the Saints senior players, coaches, even the runner to not settle him down and be professional to finish his work. I don't worry about his talent, but I do worry a bit about a guy who cuts and runs from Richmond when their development record has been so strong. He'll need a fair bit of coaching to be the player he should become.
Higgins is only 21 and has shown he has the tools to be a top line talent. As for Billings basically get overlooked as they compare him to Bont. Elite by foot and plays in front of the ball. Give him Salems role and he would dominate.
 

The wily weagle

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Ah St Kilda, the club i was a hairs breadth away from supporting as a child.

My dad is an absolute mad St Kilda supporter. Saw their sole flag in 66 and was absolutely convinced the glory days were just around the corner and that Plugger was the best AFL player on earth (to be fair, at the time he might have been!)

All that changed when the great Ross Glendenning did something that changed my life one afternoon. We ran into him in a hotel lobby in Melbourne. Now me being 4 years of age I had no idea who he was, but my parents certainly did. Subsequently, they got talking with him.

At the end of the talk, he looked at me and said:
"Who do you follow in the footy mate?"
"Um.....I don't really follow anyone"
"Well then why don't we sign you up as a west coast supporter!?"

So he took our details and a few weeks later a little jumper and a little footy came across from Perth, and I can say I have followed the eagles since day one.

So to Ross, wherever you are thank you for saving me from a lifetime of pain. Had that not happened I almost certainly would have been a Saints supporter and at 40 years of age, I still wouldn't have seen them win a flag 🙏🙏😂
 

Generation X

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Crazy to think that the Patton, Boyd and McCartin all went #1 within 4 years of each other. I don't think I've ever been more wrong on an 18 year old as I was with Tom Boyd, he looked like a multiple Coleman medalist as a 17 year old for the Ranges.
You think that's bad? Imagine convincing yourself that Cale Morton will be a future elite player

At least Boyd played his best game in the one that counted
 

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