List Manager Stephen Silvagni believes Paddy Dow’s best football is ahead of him as the Blue-turned-Saint looks to entrench a position in St Kilda’s engine room come 2024.
Dow officially became a Saint earlier today following a complex four-club trade between St Kilda, Carlton, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs, with Nick Coffield finding a new home out west as part of the deal.
With the need for midfield speed high on St Kilda’s trade agenda, the 73-game Blue was the perfect target after piquing significant interest for his performances in the tail-end of 2023.
The pick No. 3 from the 2017 National Draft played an important hand in the back half year to steer Carlton into September - averaging 20 disposals and six clearances from his last six games - although didn’t feature in the Blues’ run all the way to a preliminary final himself after being omitted for the elimination final.
“Our philosophy really was - and our trade targets were - to bring some midfielders in with a bit of pop through the middle, a bit of speed,” Silvagni told Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio.
“I think if you watched his back half of this season you saw him improve every week. He’s a probably a clearance beast in some ways and he can pop out of the stoppage, so I think his footy got better and better as the season went on.
“Unfortunately for him, he ended up not playing in the finals and that probably had a bit to do why he wanted to change clubs (and) get an opportunity where he feels as though he can cement a spot in the team.
“We’re hopeful that he’s got improvement in him.”
Dow will be hopeful of partnering up with fellow recruit Liam Henry next season, who provides his own dash and zip which is sure to be of value to Ross Lyon.
“Once again, some speed, and he can play in a variety of positions,” Silvagni said regarding Henry.
“He’s a player that’s certainly got some upside, we believe. We know he can play on the wing, he can play forward and hopefully can spend some time through the middle of the ground as well.”
The 2023 Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period closes tonight at 7:30pm AEST.