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Saints well placed for upcoming acquisition period

Josh Gabelich  September 8, 2017 10:32 AM

AFL 2015 Media - NAB AFL Draft

St Kilda currently holds pick No. 7 and No. 8 in the 2017 National Draft.

If it is that we don’t get a player of that sort of quality [Josh Kelly] then we go to the draft with pick seven and eight and that’s pretty exciting.

St Kilda will look to bolster their list in the upcoming trade period, but if the right deal doesn’t emerge the Saints are excited by the prospect of holding multiple top 10 picks for the first time in 16 years, says Coach Alan Richardson.

After adding key defenders Jake Carlisle and Nathan Brown and inside midfielders Koby Stevens and Jack Steele in the last couple of years, St Kilda has been linked to out-of-contract Greater Western Sydney young gun Josh Kelly throughout 2017.

The Saints, who currently hold pick No. 7 and No. 8, haven’t held two top 10 picks since they secured Luke Ball (No. 2) and Xavier Clarke (No. 3) in 2001, a year after landing Nick Riewoldt (No. 1) and Justin Koschitzke, and haven’t had a single digit pick since they read Paddy McCartin’s name out first in 2014, a year after landing Jack Billings at pick No. 3.

“We’re after quality players to complement our list,” Richardson told Melbourne radio station SEN on Friday morning.

“But if it is that we don’t get a player of that sort of quality [Josh Kelly] then we go to the draft with pick seven and eight and that’s pretty exciting.

“We like the work we’ve done from a list management point of view.

“We’re disappointed with the overall result of the season but we think people like [Seb] Ross, [Luke] Dunstan, [Jack] Sinclair, [Jack] Billings and these guys that are going to build our midfield are heading in the right way.”

St Kilda secured pick No. 7 in this year’s National Draft after trading last year’s pick No. 10 to Hawthorn, in an exchange where the Saints also received pick No. 23 and No. 36 in last year’s draft from the Hawks, with No. 68 going back the other way.

After adding 11 wins this year after 12 in 2016, Richardson indicated he is close to signing a contract extension with the Saints that will extend his time beyond the end of 2018.

“That’s going well and heading in the right way and it’s pretty close,” he said.

“We’re working through all the details now.”