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AFLX Squad: New faces unveiled, form rewarded

Josh Gabelich  February 13, 2018 4:00 PM

Bailey Rice and Ben Long have been rewarded for their work this summer with an AFLX spot.

Bailey Rice and Ben Long have been rewarded for their work this summer with an AFLX spot.

St Kilda will unveil a handful of fresh faces and reward some young players for their strong pre-season's in Friday night’s inaugural AFLX tournament, after the Saints announced their 20-man squad on Tuesday.

Assistant Coach Ben McGlynn will coach the Saints in the games against Essendon and Hawthorn, with Assistant Coach Lindsay Gilbee and Performance Analysis Manager Robbie Chancellor also driving the hybrid version of the game.

Hunter Clark (pick No. 7) and Nick Coffield (No. 8) – the Saints two top-10 picks from last November’s NAB AFL Draft – will wear the red, white and black for the first time, following impressive debut summers at Linen House Centre.

Clark and Coffield set for first taste

Irish rookie Ray Connellan and endurance machine Ed Phillips will also experience senior football for the first time, while inexperienced second-year players, Ben Long (four games), Josh Battle (one game) and Rowan Marshall (one game) have earned another opportunity at senior level.

After playing against Carlton in a JLT Community Series game last year, father-son recruit Bailey Rice has also been included in the squad, as he closes in on an AFL debut in his third season at St Kilda.

Reigning Trevor Barker Award winner Seb Ross will feature first-up, along with budding star forward Tim Membrey, veteran defender Sam Gilbert and rising stars Jack Sinclair, Jack Steele, Luke Dunstan and Blake Acres, who have all lit up the track this summer.

Young gun Jack Billings won’t play on Friday night after pulling up with hamstring tightness following match simulation at Trevor Barker Oval last Friday.

AFLX Squad:

5. Shane Savage
6. Seb Ross
7. Luke Dunstan
8. Blake Acres
9. Jack Steele
11. Hunter Clark
13. Jack Lonie
19. Sam Gilbert
21. Ben Long
25. Koby Stevens
26. Josh Battle
28. Tim Membrey
29. Jimmy Webster
30. Ed Phillips
33. Nick Coffield
35. Jack Sinclair
37. Bailey Rice
40. Ray Connellan
43. Rowan Marshall
44. Maverick Weller