The future of St Kilda’s AFLW side has officially committed for the long-term, with seven players inking maximum four-year deals to drive the red, white and black towards the ultimate success.
Past and present Best & Fairest winners Jaimee Lambert, Georgia Patrikios and Olivia Vesely, plus stars on the rise in Molly McDonald, Tyanna Smith, Nicola Xenos and Serene Watson will now call RSEA Park home until at least the end of 2027, joining a 20-plus contingent who have recently signed on for the club.
Lambert’s immediate impact in her first season as a Saint - which included her fourth career Best & Fairest and sixth selection in the All-Australian squad - is primed to complement the midfield core of Patrikios, Smith, Vesely and McDonald in the seasons to come, who all pieced together commendable seasons in their own right.
Smith, whose career is only now blossoming with just 19 games to her name, finished second in the club’s 2023 AFLW Best & Fairest after missing the past two seasons through injury, but quickly reaffirmed her importance to the club off the back of her eye-catching comeback.
Two-time Best & Fairest Patrikios showed her growing influence as an outside midfielder throughout 2023, while Vesely’s grunt on the inside and ability to stand up in big moments only furthered her continued rise.
Meanwhile, Watson, McDonald and Xenos all took significant strides forward to further enhance St Kilda’s backline, midfield and forward line respectively, with Watson already having 42 senior games to her name at just 22 years of age.
“We’re thrilled to have Jaimee, Georgia, Liv, Molly, Tyanna, Nicola and Serene sign on long-term,” Executive General Manager of AFLW Tessie McManus said.
“This group of athletes add not only immense talent to our group, but are such key drivers of standards and performance.
“Whether it’s pressure in the midfield, an innate goal-sense in the forward line or reading the play with precision down back, these seven players really shape the way we play.
“We’re proud to have them in the red, white and black for the next four years and can’t wait to see what they can do.”
The Saints’ seven latest signings takes the total number of existing players committed for Season 2024 and beyond to 26.
St Kilda will now look to finalise its playing list through the AFLW Draft on Monday 18 December.