Main content

Top draft pick not part of any Shiel deal: Saints

Trade Period's biggest questions answered Nick Bowen and Mitch Cleary on the trade news hot topics

ST KILDA has declared its first selection in this year's NAB AFL Draft off-limits in the pursuit of Dylan Shiel, but the Saints remain confident they'll get a deal done if he nominates Moorabbin as his preferred home.

The Saints are hell bent on spending their opening pick – currently No.3 before the awarding of the Tom Lynch compensation – on highly-rated junior talent and also won't be tempted to try to turn it into multiple first-round selections.

However, they believe they could still conceivably trade for Shiel if he wants in.

"Pick four won't be involved in the Dylan Shiel deal, it is incredibly unlikely," list manager James Gallagher told Macquarie Sports Radio on Friday morning.

"We are pretty confident we can find a way to get it done without using pick four."

And football operations manager Simon Lethlean declared all Shiel needed to do was say the word and they'd find a way to make him a Saint.

"When players nominate a club they want to go to, you can generally get a deal done," Lethlean told RSN on Friday morning.

"So, we will find a way … if Dylan wants to come here, then it will get done."

Shiel, despite having a year to run on his current contract at the Giants, has been linked to a number of Victorian clubs including St Kilda, Carlton, Essendon and Hawthorn.


He was reportedly flown to Noosa on a private jet to meet with the Blues earlier this week, but a report in Friday's Herald Sun declared the club also would not use its top draft pick in a deal to secure him.

Gallagher said the Saints' first selection, which will move from No.3 to No.4 overall once the Lynch compensation is awarded to Gold Coast, would not be a factor in any trades.

"Our recruiters have done a huge amount of work over the past 24 months watching these guys and what we see this year is the level of talent in those first five to six picks is pretty special," Gallagher said.

"It's pretty different to what's been there in previous drafts.

"You could get a one in 10-year talent in those first four to five picks, or you could get two really good players with picks later in the first round.

"Right now, what we need to bring in to the club is some real high-end elite talent, hence the desire to keep our hands on pick four and go to the draft with that."

Gallagher denied any interest in Geelong's Daniel Menzel and Richmond's Jacob Townsend given St Kilda's depth in the small forward area.

However, the Saints remain keen to secure Melbourne's Dean Kent, as he would give their forward line "a different look".

Gallagher also confirmed "preliminary" talks with Sydney about Daniel Hannebery and said both sides had entered the conversation with "the best intentions".

He said there was belief there would be a "pretty fair deal done there" early on in trade week.

Meanwhile, Lethlean again vehemently denied Jack Steven would be departing Moorabbin despite continuing rumours about Geelong's interest in the Lorne product.

"Jack is going nowhere," Lethlean said.

"He won the best and fairest this year and he will be playing for us in round one next year."