St Kilda’s inaugural AFLW list is almost complete following the AFLW National Draft.
The red, white and black added young stars, seasoned campaigners and impressive talent to its 30-woman squad as Season 2020 fast approaches.
Highly-touted midfielder Georgia Patrikios was the centrepiece of the talented haul, with the Calder Cannons captain taken at pick No.5 following a terrific draft year.
With their remaining picks, the Saints snapped up Hawthorn VFLW captain and vice-captain Tamara Luke (pick No. 33) and Rosie Dillon (23), Collingwood VFLW Premiership player Nicola Xenos (27), QAFLW utility Tarni White and Norwood ball-magnet Hannah Priest (41).
After passing on pick No. 63, St Kilda now has the option of adding one more player to its list.
But for now, get to know our newest Saints and what they’ll bring to the table next season.
Pick No. 5: Georgia Patrikios
From: Calder Cannons, Essendon VFLW, Vic Metro Girls
St Kilda used its first-round selection to snare Calder Cannons captain, Georgia Patrikios, at the 2019 AFLW National Draft.
The elite on-baller was crowned the MVP of the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships back in July, with her agility and clean disposal allowing Vic Metro to go through the tournament undefeated.
Her prowess through the midfield was just as dominant for the Cannons, seeing her named among the best on ground six out of a possible nine times.
The 18-year-old has represented the side a record 22 times across three seasons, first lining up in the NAB League as a 16-year-old.
Patrikios also played four games for Essendon’s VFLW team in 2019 to average 19 disposals and five tackles per game, doing her best work as an inside midfielder.
Boasting great composure, a strong burst of speed and an impressive sidestep, Patrikios will have an immediate impact in the red, white and black.
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Pick No. 24: Rosie Dillon
From: Hawthorn VFLW
St Kilda bolstered its inside grunt after snapping up Hawthorn VFLW vice-captain, Rosie Dillon.
The 23-year-old starred for the brown and gold in Season 2019 with an average of 17 disposals and six tackles per game, capping off her stellar year with the club’s best-and-fairest and a place in the VFLW Team of the Year.
Dillon played all 14 games for the season and was named in the best on field an incredible 11 times.
Her work on the inside, ability to break apart packs and rack up contested possessions has held her in high regard across the competition, particularly off the back of her break-out 2019 campaign.
Now in new colours, Dillon will be intent on bursting onto the scene in Season 2020.
Pick No. 27: Nicola Xenos
From: Oakleigh Chargers, Collingwood VFLW, Vic Metro Girls
St Kilda brought flair and excitement to its inaugural list after signing small utility, Nicola Xenos.
A speed and endurance machine, the Oakleigh Chargers product won the 30m sprint and came second in the 2km trials at this year’s draft combine.
The former basketballer was a part of Collingwood’s 2019 VFLW Premiership side, amassing 10 disposals to be one of the best players in the final game of the season.
Xenos spends most of her time off half-back, but her ability to run through the midfield makes her an incredibly damaging player.
And when combined with her unrelenting hunt for the footy, the Vic Metro representative is more than a handful for the opposition to deal with.
While small in stature, Xenos’ vivacity at the contest could see her pack a punch in Season 2020.
Pick No. 30: Tarni White
From: Queensland Girls, Coorparoo, Wynnum
St Kilda added some extra versatility to its line-up after securing utility, Tarni White.
The 18-year-old Queenslander was a frontrunner in last year’s draft following a best-on-ground Grand Final performance for Coorparoo (QAFLW), before a devastating ACL injury saw her AFLW dream get put on hold.
After having learned the lesson of resilience and coming out other side stronger, the AFLW Academy talent is bursting at the seams to star at the elite level.
With time spent on the sidelines, White developed her leadership skills under Craig Starcevich, becoming a vocal and influential player both on and off the field.
A capable leader and a versatile player able to float all over the ground, expect White to influence the red, white and black next season.
Pick No. 33: Tamara Luke
Position: Ruck/key forward/key defender
From: Hawthorn VFLW
St Kilda bolstered its tall stocks and added a quality leader to its ranks with the big-name signing of Tamara Luke.
After making the switch from netball to football in 2017, the Leongatha recruit has been one of the Hawks’ stars for the past three seasons.
The 31-year-old was appointed as Hawthorn’s VFLW captain in 2019, leading her side out to battle in 12 matches.
Luke was voted as skipper by her teammates following a remarkable Premiership year, where she played all 16 games and played an influential hand in steering the brown and gold to a Grand Final victory.
While she's able to play in the ruck, up forward or down back to great effect, Luke’s first-class leadership will be the most valuable asset to the red, white and black.
Pick No. 41: Hannah Priest
From: Norwood (SANFLW), Morphettville Park
St Kilda finalised its draft selections and enhanced its midfield depth with the recruitment of Norwood’s Hannah Priest.
Originally from Mildura, the 27-year-old ball-magnet will look to bring her impressive skillset to St Kilda’s young line-up.
The former elite netballer is highly competitive, athletic and is armed with an impressive ability to rack up the footy, averaging 14 touches per game for the Redlegs.
Able to play as both an inside and outside midfielder, Priest will be intent on jumping out of the blocks when Season 2020 rolls around.