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Gresham in for two more

Josh Gabelich  December 9, 2016 9:00 PM

Jade Gresham: RD14 GOTY Jade Gresham has been nominated for the Round 14 Goal of the Year. (2016)
The club is thrilled that Jade has re-signed for a further two seasons, especially given the impact he had in his first season of senior football.

St Kilda has added another key signature in the early stages of the pre-season, with young gun Jade Gresham re-committing to the club until the end of 2019.

The 19-year-old midfielder-forward produced an eye-catching debut season in 2016, playing 18 games in red, white and black after making his debut against Port Adelaide in the opening game of the campaign.

Saints Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Ameet Bains, said the club was delighted to secure the 2015 first round pick for a further two seasons, on top of Gresham’s initial two-year deal.

“The club is thrilled that Jade has re-signed for a further two seasons, especially given the impact he had in his first season of senior football,” Bains told saints.com.au on Friday.

Gresham, who inherited the famous No. 4 guernsey last week, played predominantly as a small forward in his maiden season at Linen House Centre where he flaunted his nous around goal, most notably in the nail-biting win over Geelong in Round 14.

As the season progressed, the former Northern Knights captain was exposed to increased midfield minutes, where he proved to be more than capable in his natural habitat.

His performance against Carlton in Round 20, particularly in the second quarter where he amassed 10 disposals and six clearances in a brilliant burst, provided a glimpse into the future. For Bains, a more permanent shift into the midfield is the next step for Gresham.

“We think the ongoing challenge for Jade is to develop his endurance base to allow him to become a more permanent fixture in our midfield,” Bains said.

“We saw some really impressive glimpses of what he can add to the midfield during the second half of the season. In particular, he showed how damaging he can be at stoppages and how clean he is in tight.”

After landing Gresham via the pick acquired in the trade for key defender, Jake Carlisle, Bains said the performance of Gresham in his first season reinforced why the club was so firm during the negotiations for the former Bomber.

“We always felt it was critical to retain a first round draft pick during the Carlisle trade negotiations,” Bains said.

“Whilst achieving that didn’t guarantee the player we could then draft, it gave us an opportunity to bring an elite young talent to the club in the first round.

“On reflection, we are pleased that we were able to bring Jade to the Saints."

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