St Kilda great Brendon Goddard has run his eye over the Saints’ list, naming the three players that need to lift heading into the 2022 season.
After exceeding expectations in 2020 by breaking a nine-year finals drought and then winning their first final since 2010, Brett Ratten’s side was arguably the most disappointing team in the year just gone, finishing 10th.
Goddard, who was a two-time All-Australian (2009, 2010) during his 205 games at the club, believes Jack Billings, Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield “need to lift” next year.
Billings, taken at pick 3 in the 2013 draft, is yet to reach his potential after promising so much early on in his career and Goddard feels the 26-year-old must bridge that gap between his best and his worse.
“He needs to have a big year, just to fill his potential and just narrow that gap between his best and his worse,” Goddard said on AFL Trade Radio’s Trade Mornings.
“At his best, he’s a really handy player and really effective, he hits the scoreboard, an effective kick and he works really hard.”
Furthermore, Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield, who were taken at picks 7 and 8 respectively in 2017, have shown promise without taking the next step in being an elite player of the competition.
“He’s another one (Clark), taken at pick seven in 2017 and has shown glimpses, he’s a great ball user, really composed but just narrow that gap and take it to the next level,” he said.
“He (Coffield) was taken at pick eight in that 2017 draft, they’ve invested a lot of time and effort. As it stands, I’ve got Coffield out of the team because of the emergence of someone like Ben Paton and even (Ryan) Byrnes.
“They need to lift, their spots two or three years ago they were probably a little bit comfortable thinking they had a spot in the team, now because of the emergence of guys coming in and the development, now their spots are in jeopardy.”