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Five breakout Southern Saints to pack a punch in 2020

There were plenty of positives for the red, white and black in just their second year in the VFLW, with a maiden finals berth and the unearthing of incredible talents headlining the year. - St Kilda Saints
There were plenty of positives for the red, white and black in just their second year in the VFLW, with a maiden finals berth and the unearthing of incredible talents headlining the year.

The Southern Saints may have fallen one game short of the big dance, but showed they have all the makings to make an immediate impression on the AFLW. 

There were countless positives for the red, white and black in just their second year in the VFLW, with a maiden finals berth and the unearthing of incredible talents headlining the year. 

From young football stars, to sporting converts and even first-time players, all highlighted their potential to do big things next season. 

Here are few players to watch out for when St Kilda kickstart their AFLW season in 2020.  

Olivia Vesely 

Olivia Vesely enjoyed a superb debut for the Saints, quickly becoming not only an integral part of the midfield, but a premiere star of the competition.  

The no-fuss midfielder averaged 18 disposals (10 contested) throughout the course of the season, which saw her claim the Debbie Lee Medal for the VFLW Rising Star, a place on the VFLW Team of the Year and a podium finish at the Southern Saints' best-and-fairest.  

Strong in the contest and tough inside, the 19-year-old’s ability to burst through the packs and win clearances is fast becoming one of her trademarks. 

Vesely only began her footy journey two years ago, but it already seems that she’s very comfortable in the red, white and black. 

A STAR IN THE MAKING: Vesely receives Rising Star Award

Molly McDonald 

She’s still only 17 years of age, but don’t let that fool you. 

Molly McDonald only lined up for a handful of games towards the back half of the season, but made her presence felt in each outing. 

The winger isn’t afraid to take the game on, utilising her speed and dash to outrun her opponents and create opportunities for her side through her positioning. 

From her seven matches, McDonald averaged 11 disposals and booted four goals – one of which came in the preliminary final against Collingwood. 

As the second AFLW signing to St Kilda at just 17, it just goes to show how highly-rated the young Saint is. 

A HISTORIC SIGNING: Saints snare gun Stingray Molly McDonald

Caitlin Greiser 

Another star throughout the VFLW Season, Caitlin Greiser emerged as one of the game’s most potent forwards in a short space of time. 

The former soccer champion kicked 22 goals for the year, quickly becoming the focal point of the Southern Saints’ offensive through her strength, marking and thumping right-boot. 

When it seemed it couldn’t get any better for Greiser, the No. 43 was elevated to the AFLW list for 2020 and was subsequently named in the VFLW Team of the Year at full forward. 

A proven match-winner with plenty of hauls to her name, there’s no doubt Greiser will be playing a major role in guiding the St Kilda to victory next season.   

WATCH: Caitlin Greiser's life-changing news

Isabella Shannon 

Just like fellow teenager Molly McDonald, Isaballa Shannon is full of potential.  

The 17-year-old only played the six games this season but proved she can match it with the best in the competition.  

Cool, calm and collected with the football, the half-forward boasts the ability to run through the midfield and guide her side into attack through her footy smarts. 

As part of St Kilda’s original trio of historic signings, keep an eye on Shannon to light the game up in the years to come. 

YOUNG TRIO MAKE UP INAUGURAL AFLW ST KILDA SQUAD: Shannon signs with Saints

Poppy Kelly

Poppy Kelly reached new heights in her terrific season in the red, white and black. 

The former basketballer slotted seamlessly into the line-up, taking up the number one ruck duties to great effect. 

Kelly amassed a whopping 309 hit-outs for the year, but also provided grunt and a strong presence both in the air and at ground-level. 

She may still be learning her trade, but watch Kelly burst onto the scene as Season 2020 fast approaches.

2020 VISION: Kelly joins the red, white and black