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Saints snare stellar selections

St Kilda gains electric speed, elite talent and ready-made recruits in bumper draft haul. - St Kilda Saints
St Kilda gains electric speed, elite talent and ready-made recruits in bumper draft haul.

The Saints have added electric speed, two elite talents and four ready-made recruits in a bumper 2018 draft haul.

After securing special talent Max King with pick No. 4 on Thursday night, the Saints added all-round midfield gun Jack Bytel with pick No. 41.

Three mature-age speedsters followed, with Matthew Parker (pick No. 47), Nick Hind (pick No. 54) and Robbie Young (pick No. 67) also set to pull on the red, white and black, before Callum Wilkie was nabbed at pick No. 3 in the Rookie Draft.

Pick No. 4: Max King

POS: Tall forward
Ht: 204cm, Wt: 86kg, DOB: 7/7/00
From: Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

St Kilda used its prized pick No. 4 to pounce on the supremely talented Max King at the 2018 NAB AFL National Draft on Thursday night.

A product of the Sandringham Dragons, King boasts a rare mix of height, athleticism and elite skill, traits that have had recruiters salivating for more than two years.

READ:  Max King a Saint

As has been well documented, the star Dragon suffered a season-ending ACL injury in April, but that injury was the instigator for the bayside local to undertake his rehabilitation at RSEA Park.

The selection sees a boyhood dream become a reality, with King – a life-long Saints fan who grew up idolising Nick Riewoldt – set to don the red, white and black in 2019.

Pick No. 41: Jack Bytel

POS: Midfielder
Ht: 188cm, Wt: 79kg, DOB: 14/3/00
From: Calder Cannons/Vic Metro

With their second pick in the Draft, the Saints snared impressive all-round midfielder and Calder Cannons co-captain Jack Bytel.

A close friend of fellow new teammate Max King, the 18-year-old becomes the seventh Jack on the Saints’ list, joining other Jacks Billings, Sinclair, Lonie, Steven, Newnes and Steele at Moorabbin.

Bytel’s proficiency on both sides of his body as well as his aggression on the inside saw him feature heavily in first-round selection conversations, before the classy on-baller’s impact was curtailed by back injuries in 2018.

Pick No. 47: Matthew Parker

POS: Midfield/forward
Ht: 187cm, Wt: 79kg, DOB: 25/1/96
From: South Fremantle/Melville

The Saints selected South Fremantle livewire Matthew Parker with their third pick in the 2018 Draft, with the mercurial mature-age forward chomping at the bit for his chance at the big-time.

Averaging almost a goal-and-a-half per game for South since his debut in 2017, the influential forward has booted 39 goals in 23 senior WAFL appearances.

Parker remains close friends with Geelong star Tim Kelly, and will be the third indigenous player on the Saints’ list, along with Ben Long and Jade Gresham.

The mature-age recruit will be looking to make an immediate impact in the red, white and black in 2019 and cement himself in what shapes as an exciting new-look forward line.

Pick No. 54: Nick Hind

POS: Wingman
Ht: 180cm, Wt: 75kg, DOB: 19/8/94
From: Essendon/East Point/Keilor

The 181cm 24-year-old will be joining the Saints from Essendon’s VFL team, where he has played for the past two and a half seasons.

His electric pace and evasiveness set him apart, with his ability to out-run his opponents and break through packs a key aspect of his game. 

A fully qualified plumber, the multitalented Clunes native should be one to watch in 2019.

Pick No. 67: Robbie Young

POS: Small forward/inside midfielder
Ht: 179cm, Wt: 75kg, DOB: 2/3/95
From: North Adelaide/Port Adelaide

Speedster Robbie Young will make the interstate trek to Moorabbin to join the Saints after plying his trade at senior level in the SANFL for both Port and North Adelaide.

Described as a ‘hunt-down forward’, Young’s physicality in the contest also allows him to play as an inside midfielder, further bolstering the Saints’ stocks in the engine room.

Young was widely regarded as one of the hardest players in the SANFL in 2018, with his brutal tackling and relentless attack on the footy both hallmarks of his game.

The 23-year-old’s signing amps up the pressure on the Saints’ midfield, as competition for spots in the engine room continues to heat up for 2019.

Rookie Pick No. 3: Callum Wilkie

POS: Defender
Ht: 191cm, Wt: 87kg, DOB: 10/3/96
From: North Adelaide/Walkerville

The Saints have picked up promising 22-year-old South Australian Callum Wilkie in the 2018 Rookie Draft.

The athletic defender has been building his game steadily over the last two years, finishing runner-up in North Adelaide’s best-and-fairest in 2017 before claiming the main honour this year.

Wilkie possesses a terrific read of the ball in the air and his intercept marking proved a valuable weapon for his side in their run to the SANFL premiership.

And with four years of senior level experience in the SANFL, Wilkie will help bolster the Saints’ tall defensive stocks in 2019.