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ST KILDA concedes its bold move to poach Adam Tomlinson from Greater Western Sydney won't work, with the Giants unwilling to release the defender from his contract. 

Tomlinson, 24, signed a two-year deal in February to keep him at the club until the end of 2019 but St Kilda chief operating officer Ameet Bains said there was a period where GWS might have considered allowing the athletic backman to leave. 

Giants list manager Craig Cameron has stood firm over the last couple of weeks, saying Tomlinson would remain at GWS and Bains told NAB AFL Trade Radio on Tuesday morning St Kilda had come to accept that view. 

"We have had discussions as late as yesterday but I don't think anything will happen," Bains said. 

"The reality of that is that Adam has wanted to come home. There appeared to be an opening there for a period where the Giants were, I suppose, open to thinking about that.

"As the season progressed, the finals played out the way they have and some of the players they've already lost, they made it clear that they don't want to be losing any more players.

"In fairness to them, Adam is contracted for two more years."

The Saints had seen Tomlinson as improving their key defensive depth, which they acknowledge is a weakness.

Jake Carlisle and Nathan Brown both played every game but Hugh Goddard suffered a season-ending toe injury in his right foot in June.

After missing out on Tomlinson, the Saints plan to save money in preparation for a loaded 2018 free agency class. 

"The way the salary cap works is you don't have to spend the money. I think there's confusion that 'Wow, if we don't bring in someone who's worthy of the dollars, we have to pay players A, B and C more money'. That's not the case," Bains said.

"The way the whole salary cap works with pre-payments, or even the AFL's banking system, if you don't use it this year, you've still got the capacity to use that same amount in future years, so that will certainly be the aim." 

Bains also acknowledged the club might have too many ruckmen.

Billy Longer established himself as the No.1 option at the Saints while Tom Hickey lined up in just five matches this year, while Lewis Pierce did not add to his one senior game in 2017. 

"In terms of the right number, we've got essentially five, if you classify Rowan Marshall, who's played predominantly forward but a bit of ruck, that might be too many," Bains said. 

American rookie tall Jason Holmes is out of contract.

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