2021 was a whirlwind of a year for St Kilda, with rockets from outside 50, first goals and selfless footy all being showcased throughout the season.
With the home and away season having come to a close, we are reliving the best moments from 2021. Today, we are counting down from 20 to 17 and will continue to re-live the best of 2021.
20 – Bytel’s first majors
He’s on the board.
In the final game of the season, it was only fitting that Jack Bytel should end on a high by booting his first two goals in AFL footy.
While he would collect 17 disposals and seven tackles, the highlight of the midfielder’s day came in the third quarter after he calmly trotted in and slotted his first from 45 out.
Bytel would double the dose in the last quarter – kicking an outstanding goal off the one step in what would be the final goal of the Saints' season.
19 – Crouch’s rocket
Jimmy Webster and Dean Kent proved their lethality from long-range during 2021, but Brad Crouch’s rocket against the Suns was arguably the best of the bunch.
With a slender four points separating the two sides in the dying minutes, some graceful play from Hunter Clark opened the door for the No. 5 to unload from outside the arc.
The result: four goals in a row and four points in the bank. A marvellous match-winner.
18 – Byrnes breaks through
2021 was the year of many firsts, but none so would have been more important to Ryan Byrnes than his first goal in AFL footy.
All by his lonesome self inside 50, Dan Butler popped a kick over the top to the zippy midfielder. Byrnes paused, had a think, and then dashed into the open goal to slot the first major in his career.
Despite the occasion coming in the silence of Marvel Stadium, it was still a moment to savour for the No. 31.
17 – D-Mac to the Max
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has been adamant on the theme of team first throughout the year, and Dan McKenzie has been symbolic of that mindset.
The No. 36 has continually shown that he is willing to do the small things to make sure his team can succeed, and there is no better example of his work to get Max King a shot at goal.
With the ball tumbling out the back, McKenzie ran onto the footy and instead of having a shot, he tapped it to the oncoming King, who snapped truly.
It was some ruck-work that would have made any ruckman proud, and the unselfish act was recognised by the St Kilda faithful, who took to social media to praise the work from the 25-year-old midfielder.
Stay tuned as we continue our countdown of the best moments from 2021.