Dougal Howard’s arrival at St Kilda had the red, white and black faithful in raptures. 

But on the flipside, one Port Adelaide Hall of Famer is adamant the trade will come back to bite the Power in the following years. 

“Dougal Howard will have a breakout year and he will come back to haunt Port Adelaide,” Kane Cornes said on SEN SA

“He's 23, he's played 45 games – I reckon he's one of the steals of the trade period. I thought Port Adelaide shouldn't have let him go. 

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The highly-touted swingman was part of the Saints’ ground-breaking 2019 trade period, which also brought in Bradley Hill, Zak Jones, Paddy Ryder, Dan Butler and Ryan Abbott. 

“He's going to thrive when they actually play him in his correct position – and that is as a key defender, not as a key forward who's pinch-hitting in the ruck,” Cornes said. 

"He's already one of the best spoilers in the game, he's got elite speed and marking ability and he's going to be a steal for the Saints.” 

Senior coach Brett Ratten has similarly heaped praise on the new Saint, who has been flying in his new colours. 

“We’ve already seen at training why he was held in such high regard at Port Adelaide as a leader,” Ratten told  

“His presence on the track is really strong. 

The way he uses his voice and sets the standards in our sprint work shows us that he will quickly earn the same respect here.

- Brett Ratten

With the Saints’ line-up set to be a far departure from last year, Ratten has taken measures for his players to connect on-field well before Round 1. 

“It does take a little bit of time, but we’ve tried to upscale our gameplay and our game simulation a little bit earlier to see if we can get that cohesion,” Ratten told SEN Breakfast

“I think it will benefit us to make sure that we get to understand each other a bit quicker.”