St Kilda Football Club will deepen its affiliation with Sandringham Football Club moving into Season 2024 and beyond, introducing various initiatives to bring the two organisations closer together.

The streamlined alignment will see multiple development and integration opportunities beginning from this coming pre-season, both in the player, coaching and administration ranks to enhance VFL involvement within the club’s AFL program.

Headlining the new initiatives is a commitment by St Kilda to use one of its rookie list places to draft a Sandringham player, commencing next year. 

Select Sandringham players will also have the option of being involved with St Kilda’s main training sessions both in-season and during pre-season, having full access to club facilities and amenities including the gym, meals and ability to be involved in specialised sessions. 

The same will be applicable for Sandringham’s coaching staff, who will be able to learn from Saints development coach/Zebras senior coach Jake Batchelor, Head of Development and Learning Damian Carroll and Development Coach Brendon Goddard to gain valuable experience in an elite environment.

As part of each clubs’ commitment to closer align, St Kilda will appoint a VFL Liaison Officer to streamline the processes and overlap associated, while Sandringham has appointed a Recruiting Manager for next season.

“The relationship we have with Sandringham Football Club is one we are immensely pleased to deepen moving forward,” St Kilda Executive General Manager of Football David Misson said.

“St Kilda and Sandringham have been closely linked in an official capacity for 15 years now. Many of our club’s greatest players in Trevor Barker, Ian Cooper, Bob Murray and Jeff Sarau have been involved with the yellow, black and blue, and we hope to see more of today’s names become synonymous with both clubs.

We are excited at what the new and emerging opportunities we have will bring and hope that as a result, both St Kilda and Sandringham will be strengthened in multiple means.

- Executive General Manager of Football, David Misson

As part of St Kilda’s existing affiliation with Sandringham, non-selected players are eligible to play from the Zebras in the VFL competition.

Sandringham CEO Marcus Ashcroft said he was excited at the prospects next season’s unified approach would bring.

“The Sandringham Football Club is grateful for the opportunities our strong integration with the St Kilda Football Club is going to provide,” Ashcroft said.

“There is a genuine AFL pathway providing many elite initiatives for our VFL program.

“We appreciate the support and value our close relationship with the St Kilda Football Club and we really look forward to our 2024 season.”