St Kilda’s list for Season 2021 is nearing completion after securing four new talents from tonight’s Women’s Draft, held virtually via video conference.
Top 10 draftee Tyanna Smith and father-daughter selection Alice Burke headline the red, white and black’s impressive haul, with small forward Renee Saulitis and Southern Saint Jacqui Vogt rounding out the talented raft of picks.
Smith – who received U-18 All-Australian honours last season – will bolster the club’s best-and-fairest-winning engine room of Georgia Patrikios, Rosie Dillon and Olivia Vesely in 2021.
The 17-year-old was a dominant force for Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country after making a return to football in 2017, with the well-balanced midfielder offering strength from clearance, agility and footy smarts to the talented line-up.
Smith was named in the Stingrays’ best in all three games of this year’s NAB League before the season was postponed due to COVID-19.
Burke brings the highly revered surname back to RSEA Park 17 years after her father, St Kilda legend Nathan Burke, hung up the boots following his decorated 323-game career.
The club’s first father-daughter recruit is a star on-baller in her own right, with courage, toughness and skill on both sides of the body defining her eye-catching game.
Burke will also wear the No.3 guernsey made famous by her father.
Renee Saulitis, recruited from Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country, is poised to pack a punch up forward alongside fellow excitement machine Nicola Xenos.
Like Xenos, Saulitis doesn't need many touches to make an impact, is nimble with ball in hand and can also play down back and on-ball.
Saulitis becomes the first Warrnambool-based player to join the AFLW.
Meanwhile, Vogt comes into the senior line-up after two seasons with the Southern Saints.
Tough and strong as a hybrid forward, the soccer-convert comes to St Kilda virtually ready-made off the back of consistent 2019 campaign at VFLW level.
St Kilda has one place remaining on its list for Season 2021 after passing on pick No. 51, but has the option of selecting a free agent tomorrow.
AFL Women’s Draft 2020
Pick No. 6 (Vic 4) – Tyanna Smith
Pick No. 24 (Vic 16) – Alice Burke (father-daughter selection)
Pick No. 34 (Vic 21) – Renee Saulitis
Pick No. 40 (Vic 24) – Jacqui Vogt
Pick No. 57 – Pass