St Kilda’s draft class of 2021 is officially complete with PURA Next Generation Academy members Jack Peris and Josiah Kyle joining the club this afternoon as Category B rookies.
The duo follow fellow Academy participants Mitch Owens and Marcus Windhager, who landed at the Saints during the second night of the NAB 2021 AFL Draft. The club chose to pass and on its NAB Rookie Draft selection.
Peris, son of Olympic Gold Medallist Nova Peris OAM, boasts notable speed and had eyes on running at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before COVID-19 brought his comeback from a hamstring tear to a halt.
The athletic wingman also has several close ties and parallels with family friend – and now, teammate – Ben Long, with the pair having grown up together in Darwin, both boarding at Melbourne Grammar and coming from respective sporting bloodlines.
Joining Peris in the attacking half will be Kyle, whose exciting glimpses inside the arc are set to add to St Kilda’s forward line. The crafty goalsneak registered goals in six of his seven NAB League matches in 2021, including a three-goal blitz against Bendigo Pioneers.
Along with being members of St Kilda’s PURA Next Generation Academy, Peris and Kyle are also AMC Next Generation Academy Indigenous Scholarship holders.
St Kilda’s 2021 playing list will now feature a club-record eight Indigenous players: Bradley Hill, Paddy Ryder, Jade Gresham, Ben Long and draftees Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Marcus Windhager, Jack Peris and Josiah Kyle.
“We’re proud to welcome Jack and Josiah to St Kilda,” Head of List Management James Gallagher said.
"Jack may be small in stature, but he has the capacity to pack a punch through all areas of the ground. He’s determined and competitive in his approach and his athleticism is a clear strength of his.
"Josiah has plenty of promising traits as a mid-sized forward. He has genuine speed, a great leap and good goal sense. Josiah’s development will be a focus for him in joining the club and we look forward to seeing him grow in 2022."
The duo join first-round selection Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (pick No. 11), PURA Next Generation Academy players Mitch Owens (33) and Marcus Windhager (47) and South Australian Oscar Adams (51) on the club’s list for 2022.