ST KILDA has opened discussions to extend exciting youngster Mattaes Phillipou's contract with the club beyond 2024.
The talented teenager, who played every game in his debut season for the Saints in 2023, is the Saints' top contracting priority next season.
Talks have begun on his next deal following the end of the standard initial two-year contract, with Phillipou one of three top-10 picks from the 2022 draft to have not yet re-signed beyond their first deal.
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With negotiations started, Phillipou is likely to get some games in at the beginning of the 2024 season, with the view to agreeing to terms later into the year. The South Australian has settled well into St Kilda under coach Ross Lyon and is expected to get locked in at the Saints.
Phillipou enjoyed a debut season where he showed his high-end talent throughout the campaign, playing mainly across the forward line for the Saints where his marking and powerful kicking took the eye.
The 18-year-old, who turns 19 next week, shapes as one of the club's brightest talents as it embarks on its list build, with the Woodville-West Torrens product's explosive streak already on display at times in his first season.
Essendon's Elijah Tsatas and Geelong's Jhye Clark are the other top-10 picks from the 2022 intake yet to sign on for further years.
The No.1 pick from that draft, Greater Western Sydney's Aaron Cadman, this week inked a two-year extension through to the end of 2026 after recently opening negotiations on a new deal, having held off talks during his first AFL campaign.