Hunter Clark, Nick Coffield and Max King have been selected in this year’s AFL Players’ Association 22Under22 team following their superb seasons.
The trio were chosen as part of the extended squad last fortnight, before earning the fans’ tick to officially class as some of the best young talent in the competition.
The 22Under22 aims to recognise the best players aged 22 and under throughout the course of the season, with supporters voting on the make-up of the final side.
Coffield reeled in team-high 100 marks from his 16 games, finishing the season as one of five players – and the youngest – to crack the ton.
The agile 20-year-old’s safe set of hands cemented his place as a core member of the Saints’ back six, with standout performances against Carlton, Essendon and Hawthorn earning coaches’ votes to highlight his increasing importance.
Coffield also came out on top of the pile for St Kilda’s total intercepts (86) and intercept marks (34), as well as finishing equal-second for rebound-50s (47) alongside Dougal Howard and overall second for effective disposals (202).
Draft-mate Clark was just as influential across the defensive arc this season, before increasing his time in the midfield in recent weeks.
Rarely flustered in heavy traffic and boasting evasive skills to slip effortlessly out of danger, the Mount Martha local produced several match-winning moments which ultimately proved pivotal in securing St Kilda’s finals berth.
A blistering patch in the dying minutes against Gold Coast and a starring role against ladder-leaders Port Adelaide charted among his best for the season, while his silky skills to whisk the ball off the deck and out of danger placed him in the top-three for his side’s disposals (274) and ground-ball gets (85).
Clark was also voted in over 80 per cent of the total fan-submitted 22Under22 teams.
King, meanwhile, enjoyed a terrific campaign as St Kilda’s key target in attack after ACL and syndesmosis injuries derailed his debut season at RSEA Park.
The No. 12 finished runner-up in the Saints’ goalkicking (20) and outright first for marks inside-50 (26) to entrench himself as an integral part of the club's future.
King earned a NAB Rising Star nomination in Round 12 against Essendon for his three-goal bag; one of six multiple-goal outings for the 20-year-old key forward.
Eligible Saints Ben Paton, Ben Long and Josh Battle missed out on selection in the 40-man squad following influential seasons.
All will play crucial roles as St Kilda looks towards its elimination final with the Western Bulldogs.
Saints voted into the 22Under22
2016: Tim Membrey
2017: Jack Billings
2018: Jade Gresham
2019: Jade Gresham
2020: Hunter Clark, Nick Coffield, Max King
2020: Caitlin Greiser, Georgia Patrikios