Former Saints Nick Dal Santo and Trent Dennis-Lane will head up the coaching department of St Kilda’s Next Generation Academy (NGA) in 2020. 

The talented pair will impart their elite-level experience directly to the Saints’ next contingent, who will take the first steps of their prospective AFL careers. 

Dal Santo played 260 games and earned three All Australian selections during his time at St Kilda, while Dennis-Lane played two seasons with the Saints after crossing over from Sydney. 

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The smooth-mover was thrilled to be part of the NGA in 2020, after serving as head coach for the past three years. 

“It’s fantastic to be involved with the Saints for another season,” Dal Santo told 

“Year on year the Academy has been growing with resources and opportunity, and any expertise we can offer these young kids who are still learning and dealing with a lot in their lives is invaluable.

Even though there’s so many moving pieces at the moment for these boys, they’re here because they love football and for the purity of the game.

- Nick Dal Santo

“That’s rewarding from a coach’s perspective.” 

The NGA’s squad recently completed a one-day pre-season camp at RSEA Park, with full access to the state-of-the-art facilities and staff. 

After a handful of sessions together, Dennis-Lane was impressed by the group’s mentality and was thrilled to be onboard.

“They’re enthusiastic, energetic and passionate about their footy,” Dennis-Lane told 

“Anything I can do to help and assist teenagers achieve their dreams is what I’m really passionate about. 

“It’s purposeful work and hopefully I can pass on a few little tips and tricks so they don’t cut their careers short like I did. 

They’ve still got a lot to learn, but I want them to be the best players they can be and use all their potential.

- Trent Dennis-Lane

2020 will also see the addition of six fresh talents aged 16-18 to the NGA’s elite squad. 

Angus McLennan, Cameron MacKenzie, Josiah Kyle, Marcus Windhager, Rhys Gillard and Sam Latrielle will join the 22-man roster as the NGA steams into the new year. 

An additional seven players aged 13-15 will also join the ‘Futures’ squad, with Boston Everitt and Elwood Peckett among the father-son recruits. 

Jordan Butler, Adrian Cole, Jet Di Santo, Kento Hikima and Thiciot Thiciot will also enter the NGA as part of the Futures program. 

The NGA recently celebrated the selection of academy graduate Bigoa 'Biggy' Nyuon, who was picked up by Richmond with pick No. 54 in this year's National Draft.