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Saints will 'look everywhere' for talent: Watters

Post-match: Saints Watch St Kilda coach Scott Watters' post-match press conference
Nick Dal Santo of St Kilda breaks away to goal during the 2013 AFL Round 19 match between the Brisbane Lions and the St Kilda Saints at the Gabba, Brisbane on August 03, 2013. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Could Nick Dal Santo have played his last game as a Saint?
We'll desperately try to keep the right players around our young group ... does that mean everyone stays? It probably doesn’t
Scott Watters
AFTER farewelling three veterans, St Kilda coach Scott Watters has conceded the Saints could lose more experience during the trade/free-agency period.

Speaking after his side's 71-point win over a depleted Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, Watters also said his club will enter the trade period with "an open mind" in its quest to secure draft picks inside the top 20.

"With trade (and) free agency, players have a choice. Some will choose to remain one-club players, and I admire and respect them for that. Some will make the choice, and it's not a criticism (because) sometimes it's the right move for them to go somewhere else," Watters said.

"But we'll desperately try to keep the right players around our young group going forward. Does that mean everyone stays? It probably doesn’t."

Watters said the Saints will "look everywhere" for quality players.

"I'm not sure free agency's a good look for us this year, but I'm not ruling anything out. From a trade perspective we have to have an open mind," he said. 

"Like every club that wants to grow and evolve your list, we're no different.

"We certainly need to get into the top end of the draft and choose wisely, and add some zero-to-20-pick talent. We look forward to that opportunity."

The coach said the Saints needed key defenders and more class and depth in their midfield.

"Given what the club went through in a four or five-year period, we probably just have a few spots to fill. But we're already 18 months, two years down that path, so it's not like the ship's just left the port ... we've still got a long way to go, but we're on the way," he said.

With 200-gamers Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke and Jason Blake retiring on Saturday, Watters said it was critical to retain a batch of experienced players to help develop the club's younger players.

"We'll have a younger group again next year ... so we'll have to get that balance right," he said.

Watters was pleased that his side had made another incremental improvement against the Dockers, after solid efforts against fellow top-four sides Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans in recent weeks.

"It probably wraps up our last four or five weeks," he said. 

"Our side, I thought, was very good today under the burden of a fair bit of emotion. Yeah, they had a younger side in, but ... you can only beat who they put up against you. 

"(It was) a good day and sends off some good players in the right light."