2019 Team Preview – StKilda

Written by Schwarzwalder on January 19 2019

(Written & Created By AllSaints)                                                         



Lock & Load:

Pfft, you’re avin’ a giraffe inch ya! The sherrin won’t be finding its way into the Saints back half much in 2019! In all seriousness, roles and the best six remain unclear down at Moorabbin. The Saints continue to trial the popular Josh Battle ($232,100, FWD only) in the role of third tall as a rebounding intercept (think Tom Doedee), given his innate ability to read the game. The JLT series will allow us to greater understand the Saints’ structure in the back half, so Locks will have to wait.

Feeling Lucky:

In the meantime, there are a couple to keep a close eye on in the pre-season proper. Following a serious heart-scare at GMHBA last season Dylan Roberton ($297,100) remains on a modified program but is on track for a Rd1 return. That injury-affected score against the Cats and his lack of games (only 4 in 2018) make him a steal at this discounted price. His average was nearly 80 prior to that game and has averaged 90+ in two of the previous three seasons (92.6 in 2017). Dylan could be a decent cash-generator, points-getter and stepping stone to an elite DEF in 2019. Jimmy Webster ($472,300) took over the role and was producing elite outputs in the first half of 2018, before injury struck in Rd13 (103.8 from his first 10 games). Post-byes, he never quite got back to that form, playing a number of differing roles and suffering further groin and abductor issues. It’ll be one or the other in 2019, so keep a close eye during the JLT for roles if you are interested in Roberton (or Webster).

NEWS UPDATE: Having had a pretty decent start to his AFL career, Hunter Clark ($293,500) is making strong claims for a full-time midfield role in 2019. He’s demonstrated skills and composure well beyond his years and smashed his previous best 3km time trial last Saturday. He is however awkwardly priced and an average less than 80, would leave us in no-man’s-land. He is training full-time with the midfield group now, having over-delivered against all of Richo’s set targets for the pre-season.

Money Maker:

Callum Wilkie ($124,900) is a mature-aged marking-machine the Saints took at Pick 3 in this year’s Rookie Draft. From North Adelaide, the intercept defender averaged over 25 disposals and 8.6 marks, winning the flag in the SANFL this season. If he starts, lock him in. Second-year Sainter Oscar Clavarino ($123,900) is pushing for a debut in 2019. As a key position defender there may be better options, but he will be worth watching and could generate cash while sitting on your pine.



Lock & Load

Seb Ross ($558,400) is a midfield ball-magnet who ranked 5th for effective disposals and 7th for disposals per game in 2018. The former first-round draft pick is coming into his 8th season at the top level, still only 25 and could enjoy his best season yet, with the arrival of Hannebery likely freeing him up a bit more in 2019. Having only missed one game in the last three years and averaging 125 in his last six games in 2018, he has to be in the mix for the top-10 MIDs in 2019. If he shows this form in the front half of 2019, he could be a decent upgrade target after his early bye in Rd12.

Feeling Lucky

Jack Steele ($512,600) is a modern-day 187cm, 90kg contested beast. Looking to build his tank this off-season (5th in 3km time trial this week), he is preparing for another breakout season, as in 2017 (where his SC average jumped a massive 27.3pts). With a post-bye average of 111.8 in 2018 and a last seven-game average of 117.3, Steele is looking to add line-breaking run and distribution to his run-with role (ranked 5th in tackles per game). He is the consummate professional who has a low profile outside the boundaries of the club. Watch this space, I’m telling you!

There’s no doubting that Dan Hannebery ($326,100) has been an elite-SC performer in times gone by, but his decline has been sharp. Physically he hasn’t been right for over 18 months with persistent soft tissue injuries (hamstrings, calf and groin), but he returned to training two weeks early and has been a huge positive around the club. However, complaining of tightness in his hamstrings during St Kilda’s last session before the Christmas break, he has to be a ‘watch and act’ despite scans showing no damage. He is being managed to peak for Round 1. If all goes well, he has to be considered as a mid-price starter, but there are obviously associated risks. He remains on a modified training program (16th Jan).

Money Maker

Dubbed the new Jack Steven, Doulton Langlands ($123,900, MID/FWD) impressed on the wing and at half-forward last year at VFL-level; he’s a two-way runner with elite endurance. There is some talk of a debut in Rd 1 and with his DPP status, he has to be one to consider if there is a shortage of decent Cows in the forward line. Jack Bytel ($117,300) is a pure inside-midfielder (selected in this year’s draft at pick 41), but remains on a modified program as he continues his recovery from a bulged disc. Considered a risky pick even though the Tigers also had an eye on him, due to past stress fractures in his back and now the bulged disc, if the Saints can get his body right the 19-year old is AFL-ready in terms of size and his game [UPDATE: the Saints are being ultra-cautious with Bytel and he is almost certain to not figure in selections for either the JLT series or the early rounds of 2019 proper, 16th Jan]. Nick Hind ($117,300) is another mature-aged rookie who played a match-winning role off half-back for the Bombers in the VFL finals in 2018 (ave. 21.7 disposals over 20 games) and is also AFL-ready. While disappointing not to see him given DEF/MID positional status, the 54th draft pick could be given an early opportunity with his explosive acceleration off half-back or a wing.



Feeling Lucky

Billy Longer ($260,900) has to be considered as a genuine starter for those willing to pick only one (or none) of Grundy and/or Gawn. With competition only from Pierce now that Hickey’s gone west, if he has a full pre-season the former #8 draft pick at 202cm and 105kg can be expected to average a minimum of 70, with 80+ more realistic. He averaged 78 from 17 games in 2017, including five 100+ scores. Now with a couple more pre-seasons into him, there’s possibly decent points and cash generation here that could provide the perfect stepping-stone to an elite RUC in the run-up to the byes.



Feeling Lucky

There’s been a lot of talk in this off-season about Jade Gresham ($429,600) being on the cusp of more midfield-time and a breakout season in the offing for 2019. But he’s still only 21 and showed big enough improvement last year that I see 2019 more as a year of consolidation for ‘Gresh’, with increased mid-time less likely with Hanners’ arrival. That said, he did post five 110+ scores from Rd 10 onwards and if Hanners goes down early, or worse doesn’t even get up(!), all bets are off. Jack Billings ($437,600) will be on the ‘never again’ list of many SCTers, after his underwhelming output in 2018. But this was due more to Richo’s persistence in playing him up forward, particularly in the first half of the season. He has put his hand up for more mid-time in 2019 and has shown up in superb nick (cliché?) There are positive signs that some SCTers may have been a year early on the former #3 draft pick. After being dropped to the VFL and posting monster numbers that week for Sandringham, he returned to the AFL side and averaged 96.1 in his next 9 games (with three 100+ scores including a 125 in Rd17). Priced at an ave. of 80.6, is 2019 the year Jack finally goes ‘pop’? I certainly hope so.

My last consideration is certainly left-field and comes with definite risk, but the speedy, high-pressure forward Dean Kent ($278,800) has potential for serious upside. He had many injuries throughout his time as a Demon, but is now back in full training (16th Jan) after post-season shoulder surgery and his price belies some impressive performances in 2018. He is heavily discounted (20%) as he only played five games last year and two of those outputs were seriously injury-effected; namely a 28 (in just over a quarter of footy) and a 2 (after only four minutes on the park). He averaged 97 in his other three games with 100+ scores in his first two games of the season and is priced at a 51.4 average. While I am not predicting consistently lofty scores, hi s game style suits the Saints and I see him as a constant presence in the Saints best XXII, should he be ready for Rd1. He ticks a lot of the ‘potential money-maker’ boxes and could provide points and cash generation to an elite FWD in what is traditionally a poor line for rookies. Time is also an invaluable commodity in identifying emerging premiums in the FWD line and starting a mid-pricer gives you just that. Time.

Money Maker

Matt Parker ($117,300) is another ready-made mature-age rookie, who stepped up in the absence of one Tim Kelly at South Fremantle in 2018. Booted 27 goals in 20 games, averaging 13 disposals and three marks per game. He’s quick, a strong mark and tackler who will provide real pressure for the Saints. Likely to debut at some point in 2019 but when, it is still too early to tell. If he starts, lock him in!

A team-mate of Callum Wilkie at SANFL premiers North Adelaide, Robert Young ($117,300) provided consistent X-factor in the forward six in 2018 and can cause serious damage if given time and space. Another mature-ager at pick 47 in this year’s draft, Young could provide the Saints lighter forward line with another much-needed battle-hardened body. Richo reckons both Parker and Young’s game styles are made for Marvel Stadium. We’ll see.

I have not mentioned the Saints top draft pick Max King ($193,800) as he is a long way off a debut while he continues his recovery from a knee reco. Mid-season at the earliest is the current time-line, but as a KPP and still so young, I doubt he’ll be relevant for SC in 2019 anyway.



Whilst it could be another dire year for the Saints (fed up with thinking we’ll improve), there could be a few ready-to-go rookie debutants at the Saints this year which is good news for SCTers. If their debuts are evenly spread, then all the better. Matt Parker for mine, will likely be the best SC-wise of the Saints’ rookies crop. The added pressure these mature-age recruits bring to the Saints established playing group can only be a positive for the Saints after a woeful 2018.

The appointment of Andrew Bassat (founder of SEEK) as President of St Kilda Football Club is a very positive sign for our long-term future, as the recruitment of successful coaching talent proves; Ratten, Lade, ‘Gubby’ Allen and Billy Slater coming on board is just the start of a long-term plan to compete with the best. It’s a long road, but early signs are good

Not the emoji you were expecting Thommo?!

I will update this thread as and when there is any news that is particularly SC-relevant.

Go Saints!!


Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom

40 thoughts on “2019 Team Preview – StKilda”

  1. Top write-up allsaints!
    Currently have the two rookies Wilkie and Parker sitting on the bench in my team, but your rundown on Steele has got me thinking of maybe taking him as my “risk” this year – am looking at picking a few mids round the $500-570k mark that offer value, like Dusty, Matty Crouch and Zac Merritt, although saw Merritt has slight ankle strain now, but should be right.
    Keep up the great work you do here on this site, all your bits of info (along with everyone else’s) is invaluable mate.


    1. Thanks BW, very kind. I’ll watch the JLT first, but see Steele as a post-bye pick up for the run home (hence Feeling Lucky) and Ross as a starter. He too is in your price range and if Hannebery gets up for Rd1, believe he’ll be a 110+ easy.
      Thanks again and good luck, whatever you decide 🙂


  2. Great writeup! Been looking forward to this one for a while now as you’ve produced some ripping articles already this pre season.

    4 players who weren’t on my radar will now be watched closely in JLT:
    Wilkie, Young & Langlands, who I hadn’t heard of, must be considered.

    The other is Seb Ross. Those are some very impressive numbers. Right age too.

    Parker & Hind remain on the watchlist.

    Longer & Hannebry unlikely.


    1. Too kind Phil. Thanks. I am seriously considering Ross now in place of Merrett. I know his ankle’s not serious, but wanted him 110% ready and he won’t be. If Hannebery is fit and playing, I’m starting Ross!


  3. Thanks allsaints.

    I was going to comment, but Phil has pretty much nailed it.

    I may have a little puzzle for you though?

    I may have found another midpriced defender worthy of thought.
    I have to make you guess or it would n’t be fun. 🙂

    So he’s around 30 and plays for a bottom 6 club.
    Seems he has put together a solid preseason so far and had a PB in the 2K time trial. He has been SC relevant in the past with another team.
    A huge injury discount makes him VERY risky. But if he gets the kick in duties, I’m very tempted.

    Current price is $296.400.

    Can you guess?


    1. Off the top of my head am thinking Mayes PTA?
      Am I right. Just got home.
      Either way, I’ve been watching him as I believe they traded him BACK HOME specifically to fill Poel’s role. Would be mighty handy if he does.
      I’m wrong aren’t I. Just tell me yes or no. Will have another rethink before I look at prices 😉


        1. If you’re considering him, then I’d go Roberton every time at the price. Too many injuries in the last 24 months and now too old. Gun back in the day but this is 2019 and that was then.


          1. Your probably right.

            He (like half by back line ) has that dam R14 Bye too.

            Lucky there’s no R 14 Bye forwards!


  4. I just had another thought.

    Most of us are at least considering Longer.
    From my memory he also put up quite a few stinkers along with those “5 tonnes”. I feel he is mainly a tap ruckman ,and if he’s not winning the tap or at least breaking even, he is very likely to fail.

    I want to know who he is up against the first 6/7 rounds this year.
    How many ruck battles has he won against these guys?
    Can he snag a few tons and jump up enough to be traded early?
    If he is facing too many of the guys that smashed him last year I’m steering clear.

    Has anyone got anymore detailed stats on this?


  5. Ok so I took a look at the first 8 weeks of longer’s season.

    SUNS v Witts
    ESS v Bellchambers
    FREO v Sandi.
    HAWKS v Big Boy.
    MELB v Max. Oh no!
    ADL v Sauce.
    GWS v Mummy
    WC v Hickey

    I can’t really see him clearly winning any of these match ups.
    Maybe Hickey.?
    He is also running into Sandi ( hopefully) and Max at a very critical time in cash growth.
    I think I will steer clear.


    1. Longer has SMASHED Max the last couple o times they’ve played each other. Check the numbers!!!
      Gawn HATES the match up and will probably demand Preuss takes the lead that week!


      1. Can you put those figures up , as in when longer smashed maxy, would be interested to see scores, versus each other!


        1. sorry Bruce, finally looked it up. Just once apologies (Longer didn’t match-up against him last year).

          It was Rd21, 2017:
          Longer 108, Gawn 56

          Not wholly convinced on Longer as he has put up stinkers in the past, but with the added responsibility and signs he is finally growing up, I’ll be watching the JLT closely for positive signs.

          I’m still in no-man’s-land on what to do in the RUCs with current thinking to just go uber and start Reg and Max.

          Reg is a lock, it’s then either a Goldy/Witts until Rd14 to Gawn (don’t miss a week of scoring that way), or take the punt on Longer, but with his Rd12 bye, you’re gonna have a hole in the RUC one week thru the byes and am not sure that’s worth it.


        1. Sorry longer didn’t actually score a ton last year.
          His best was 94 v GCS.

          In 2017 he scored tons against..

          Dogs R1o
          Rich x2 R 16 + R23
          West Coast R20
          Melb R21 ( surely Max was injured this day)
          He also got a 98 v Adl R12

          I really have no confidence sorry 🙁


  6. When I was researching Longer I got a bit distracted.

    Maybe I’m out of my mind (again)

    But I’m considering Sandi at R2.

    I know he will get injured , I know I will have to burn a trade.

    This is not a “Set and Forget” solution. This is about taking the points for $ value early.

    These are Sandi’s likely opponents the first 10 rounds 2019.


    Before Stef and Grundy.

    If he can stay on the park. ( big If I know) he can win nearly all of these match ups and score well.

    Best case he becomes Max Gawn at R11 without too much cash outlay.

    Worst case he becomes Darcy or Lobb.

    This is a total gamble but it may just pay off.

    Ok, now tell me I’m crazy.


    1. Hmmm, maybe he’ll play forward to just mark and kick goals, while the other more mobile youngens run up the ground more for the on ball action……ahhh those were the days.


    2. All these r2 discussions, just lock in gawn and you can down trade him to anyone you like after or keep him for his 120 ave. I didn’t start grundy last year because of cox and we all know how that turned out. They cost alot for a reason. Just pay up and stop worrying about who will hurt you the leased for not selecting him. (this is light hearted banter).


  7. Nice work allsaints although I would rather you don’t associate me with the Saints 😉

    I like your thinking on Steele and have him on my list to do a break-out article. He was a ball magnet as a junior and killed in the final weeks of 2018.

    Not sure Ross’s game suits Supercoach. More a Fantasy guy for mine.


    1. Lol. And thanks, I think

      And as ever, you make good points. Am giving Steele serious consideration with Zerrett now having an interrupted pre-season … ankle ligaments mean he won’t be the 110% ready I was hoping for. I need a Rd12 bye MID and Macrae’s starting price scares me.


  8. Great work as usual Sainter. Roberton my only starter at this stage, but the Saints could well offer the best rookie options of any team from reading your write up.


    1. I’m more worried about which rookies are going to keep their spot as opposed to which rookies will play rd 1! Maybe pre-season injuries might make these decisions a bit clearer.


      1. Yep. Need to watch out for suspension (Gaff, Mumford) and STI replacements (eg Jamie Cripps, Daniher, Greene etc.). May not last long!


  9. I am definitely considering Kent this year as i am seeing a lot of upside in him and considering i am struggling on confidence on many other choices i think he is a genuine chance. Seems to be doing well with his injuries and started the preseason well. There was talk about more midfield time when the trade was made but am not sold on that yet, might just be to make the trade sound better. Great potential and ceiling for big scores as 2 tonnes to start last year. All i am concerned is can the body hold up? Got 20 games together in 2016 an i am unsure whether the missed games were due to poor form or injury.

    Will be watching closely but think at this stage he is a real good chance as it is these risks that can be all the difference, and if he fails i can downgrade him for a rookie or try and string together cash and get Greene


  10. *** UPDATE:
    Jack BYTEL is going in for surgery this Friday Feb1 on his bulged disc. The club is 100% certain he will be back with the playing group in 6 weeks. Hopeful of a debut around the byes if there are no further interruptions to his preparation .

    Doulton LANGLANDS is now on a precautionary, modified program. Will update details as and when available.

    Both Jade GRESHAM and Jack BILLINGS are training SOLELY with the MIDfield group.

    Jimmy WEBSTER looks more and more likely set to be playing a Jake LLOYD role at the Saints. Shane SAVAGE is mooted to be secondary kicker-in with his 70m bombs.

    Josh BATTLE appears at this stage to have nailed down a third tall DEF intercept role (think raw Harris ANDREWS type).

    Will update further as more news becomes available. ***


  11. Any news on how Jack Newnes FWD/MID (356k) is tracking? Averaged 86ppg from 2014-17 with a 90.4 season average in 2015 to a 65.5 ppg average in 2018. Played 22 games across all those seasons.
    Was this due to a role change? Can he return to his best?


    1. He hasn’t been training much as he had a knee clean-out before Christmas. He’s also been left out of the leadership group this year (announced earlier this week.
      There’s been a lot of talk about Hunter Clark (most improved), Ed Phillips and even Jimmy Webster vying for wing spots this year. At this stage it’s a NO from me, but he is hoping to play JLT, so watch this space.
      Hope that helps …


      1. Thanks allsaints, yeah I just remember as a Melbourne supporter how he used to give us lots of dramas a few years ago and was even touted as a future skipper? Just shows a year is a long time in football…



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *