ST KILDA has rewarded second-year forward Josh Battle for an encouraging start to his AFL career with a two-year contract extension.
AFL.com.au understands the 19-year-old put pen to paper recently on a deal that will tie him to Moorabbin until the end of the 2020 season.
Battle's signature comes off the back of the Saints re-signing prized 2017 first-round picks Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield this week.
Taken with pick 39 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, the hard-running forward played one AFL game last year and has been close to senior selection this season.
The Dandenong Stingrays product has waited patiently for opportunities over the past 18 months, but strong VFL form with Sandringham has him right in the selection conversation alongside fellow tall forwards Paddy McCartin, Tim Membrey and Josh Bruce.
He kicked 3 goals and had 25 possessions in a recent match against Footscray opposed to impressive young Western Bulldogs key defender Lewis Young.
Battle was considered a big chance to play against Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Saturday until Membrey proved his fitness on a knee injury.
One of the straightest kicks for goal at the Saints, Battle was mentored by Essendon great Matthew Lloyd during his time at Melbourne's Haileybury College.