St Kilda kicked off its 2022 Victorian Blind Football League season in style on Saturday, with the reigning premiers defeating the Bombers by 44 points at the Action Indoor Sports Stadium.
Fielding a new-look side from their 2021 premiership team, debuting five new players, the Saints started strongly and did not let up, continuing their form into the new season.
Kate Aarons, one of the five debutants who was taken in the 2022 draft following the club’s Come & Try Day, kicked a game-high six goals in her first game for the red, white and black, while fellow recruits Steffan Nero, Sean Brown and Ross Patterson all impressed throughout the game.
However, the Saints will be without Patterson for the next two to three games, with the new Saint tweaking his knee against the Bombers and is set to miss four to six weeks. Youngster Lachlan Kosic also sustained an ankle injury during Sunday’s clash, but he will be available next week against Hawthorn.
Meanwhile, St Kilda’s wheelchair sides had a week off in the VWFL following its first win of the 2022 season in the senior division.
After a tough loss to Richmond the week before, the Saints found themselves in a similar situation at the half, trailing to the reigning premiers in Collingwood.
However, an outstanding second-half display saw Ryan Smith and Nathan Wilburn’s team fight back to come away with a hard-earned 20-point win.
The co-captains were both instrumental in the comeback, with Smith slotting 13 goals and Wilburn a brick-wall down in defence, consistently repelling the Magpies’ forwards.
Mark Walker was also a highlight in the middle of the court, providing strong service to Smith and his fellow forwards when entering attack.
However, St Kilda’s VWFL development side could not make it two wins for the day at Boroondara Sports Complex, going down to the Pies in the curtain raiser to the senior side.
Matt Trusler backed up his impressive Round 1 showing in the loss, while Nathan Tanner, Katherine Simmons and Daniel Fatouros fought hard down back.
With the VWFL season played fortnightly, both sides will resume the year this Sunday against Hawthorn at Boroondara Sports Complex, with the seniors playing from 11:00am and the development squad from 10:15am.