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Saints cut veteran: No new deal for defender

Clarko and Dimma's frosty friendship The Footy Feed team with all the latest news

DEFENDER Sam Gilbert has been delisted by St Kilda.

The 32-year-old was told on Tuesday he wouldn't be offered a contract for next season.

He has played 208 games in his career, including 11 this year, after being drafted at No.33 in 2005.

Gilbert has not decided whether he will retire.

"I want to thank the club for the opportunity to play at the highest level, and for helping shape the person I am today," Gilbert told saints.com.au.

"I have been privileged to be part of the club for the past 13 years, and I've loved every minute of it.

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"I owe a lot to my coaches, teammates, and the St Kilda staff and supporters, and thank them for their friendship and support.

"I also want to thank my family for their incredible support, in particular my wife Georgie and my new baby boy Oscar.

"I will take my time to weigh up what's next, but I respect the club's decision and I hope the boys can achieve something special in the future."

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson played tribute to Gilbert, who was part of the side that made three Grand Finals in 2009-10, including a draw with Collingwood.

"Sam always put the team first. I haven't coached a player who so regularly put their body on the line for their teammates more than him," Richardson said.

"He has been an incredibly versatile and reliable player in my time at the Saints, but it was his physicality that St Kilda sides have benefited from for more than a decade.

"Even through my discussions with him about our plans for next year, he always spoke about what he could do to help the team and the club. It was never about him."

The Saints' list is well-stocked with defenders.

Dylan Roberton will return from a heart issue in 2019, and with Jimmy Webster, Jarryn Geary, Shane Savage, Bailey Rice, Nick Coffield, Daniel McKenzie, Brandon White and Darragh Joyce, there are plenty of backline options in a similar vein to Gilbert.

"Gilbo has played some strong footy for us this season, but we also have to balance that with the fact that we have a number of young defenders coming through," Richardson said.

"It's up to the young guys to step up and make that position their own next season and play with the same team-first attitude and physicality that Gilbo always did."