Terry Wallace has assessed the St Kilda Football Club in his series of list analyses for Telstra AFL Trade Radio.
The Saints have not played finals in eight years which Wallace says is “far too long.”
“It almost loses a generation of kids along the journey. Much of this was created by either poor high-end drafting from the past – so not the people that are in play at the moment – and/or a lack of development or opportunity.”
Wallace did see some positives for St Kilda:
“The Saints are still only ranked as the fourteenth best team in this competition, but have brought in some good young talent in recent seasons, so I think they’ve got it more right recently than what they had if you went back in that past history, which has created the eight years and the problems that they’ve got right where they sit at the moment.”
Wallace said the Saints’ forward structure had the potential to be “solid”.
“I see it being, Max King – getting games into him and really working with him, I see it being Tim Membrey and I see it being a combination of Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall as their forward structure … no problems with that whatsoever.”
As to what area St Kilda need to focus on, Wallace said a key defender should be a priority.
“Either Jake Carlisle steps up to be the player that they wanted him to be…they’ve got a young guy playing VFL by the name of Oscar Claravino that was a really solid defender coming through…or they’ve got to go and get one. So it’s one of those two that you’ve got there (Carlisle and Claravino), or if you’re not confident in those, they need to go and get one (a key defender).”
Wallace said the Saints also needed some “quality” midfield runners.
“And that’s exactly what they’ve targeted (this trade period). They’ve gone, got Brad Hill and Zak Jones – we expect.”
Wallace said the likes of Ryder, Hill and Jones would help the Saints improve “marginally”.
However, Wallace did not think this group of players “can catapult the Saints back into finals.”
“They’ll improve…but not a big enough improvement for me to see them catapulting up the ladder.”