St Kilda has snared PURA Next Generation Academy duo Mitch Owens and Marcus Windhager, alongside key defender Oscar Adams at the second night of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.
The Saints matched a bid from Sydney to secure the 18-year-old Owens at pick No. 33. Windhager followed shortly after at pick No. 47 (following a bid from Geelong). Soon after, the club traded a future fourth round pick for Pick No. 51 in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft, selecting defender Oscar Adams from Glenelg.
A tall midfielder at 191cm, Owens elevated his stocks following an impressive patch of form in early August for Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro.
Owens the Saint, goes marching in!— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) November 25, 2021
We’ve matched a bid for our Next Generation Academy product Mitch Owens.
The Owens family (plus a special guest) ♥️ pic.twitter.com/tBqzTAS7gI— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) November 25, 2021
Owens becomes the first PURA Next Generation Academy player to be recruited by St Kilda.
Windhager, meanwhile, has been noted for his powerful on-ball presence and versatility at either end of the ground.
A back injury late last month pushed the young talent outside top-30 considerations, allowing the club to swoop in with a lower-than-expected pick.
Along with being a member of St Kilda’s PURA Next Generation Academy, Windhager is also an AMC Next Generation Academy Indigenous Scholarship holder.
Introducing the Windhager crew 👋 pic.twitter.com/Xz2Cbzi8Fm— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) November 25, 2021
“We’re incredibly pleased to welcome Mitch, Marcus and Oscar to the red, white and black,” Head of List Management James Gallagher said.
"Mitch is a brave 191cm midfielder with a competitive edge and great ability in the air.
"He has made significant improvements this year, exemplifying his attitude and commitment, but we believe he is only just scratching the surface of what he is capable of.
“Marcus is a dynamic and powerful mid-forward, who is also very strong in the air. He has overcome some injury setbacks in recent years, but his resilience, determination and talent have shone when he has had the opportunity to play.
"At 198cm, Oscar is a competitive and athletic key defender. He took strides in his footy this year, showing his commitment by travelling nearly five hours from Mt Gambier each week to play."
The trio join first-round selection Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, who joined the club with pick No. 11 at last night’s event.