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Veteran duo axed as wooden spooner St Kilda continues clean-out

Post-match: Saints Watch St Kilda coach Alan Richardson's post-match press conference
Given where we're at … we need to go to the draft
Alan Richardson
THE CLEAN-out at St Kilda has continued, with the Saints delisting veterans Clinton Jones and James Gwilt.

Sunday's 79-point loss to Adelaide was the Saints' 10th loss this season by more than 50 points, highlighting the club's need to rebuild.
 
The Saints finished last in 2014, their first wooden spoon since 2000.
 
After the loss, coach Alan Richardson confirmed neither would play for the club next year - in the pursuit of young talent, Jones and Gwilt would have to play elsewhere if their AFL careers were to continue.
 
The coach insisted both had plenty to offer rival clubs and said their decision to keep quiet about their impending delistings – made on Tuesday earlier this week -  showed "enormous class".
 
Ultimately though, he said St Kilda's future lay with a fresh crop of players.
 
"We had a conversation earlier in the week that there won't be a position for those two guys going forward," Richardson said.
 
"We had a fantastic conversation with all their teammates behind closed doors after the game to talk about what they meant to our footy club … we spoke to them Tuesday to say that there would not be a contract offer.
 
"That's where we're at, that's the journey we're on - we need to bring in young players.
 
"Given where we're at … we need to go to the draft."
 
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Another spot on the club's list was vacated on Sunday by retiring champion Lenny Hayes, who bowed out of the game after 297 matches.

While Hayes left the club on his own account, Richardson said the freed position was another that would be taken by a youngster to join the likes of Luke Dunstan and Jack Billings.
 
He likened the decision to farewell Jones and Gwilt to those made last season when Ben McEvoy joined Hawthorn and Nick Dal Santo joined North Melbourne.
 
"We've really had one draft where we've been able to get the top-end stuff in and that was last year," he said.
 
"We think those young blokes going forward are going to be absolutely the type of players we need, but we need to go again.
 
"Some really brave decisions (were made) by the footy club with respect to McEvoy and Dal Santo – champions of the footy club – that moved on so we could get in early [last year]."
 
Hayes said that while 2014 was incredibly disappointing in terms of ladder position, he saw big things in the club's near future.
 
He said the Saints’ current situation reminded him of early in his career.
 
The club didn't make the finals for Hayes' first five seasons in the AFL, before achieving five top-four finishes in the next seven years.
 
"I see a really bright future for this group and I think I was in a really similar position to what they are now probably 14 years ago," Hayes said.
 
"The club wasn't going as well [as we'd have liked] on the field but we got a good  group of young guys together and we all came through.
 
"We were really tight and I can see that happening for this group."


"It doesn't mean a great deal," Hayes said of his record.

"It's something I might look back and tell my son one day, that I used to go all right.

"But it's not one of those things that you place too much emphasis on."