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Saints go for ready-made players with mature-aged trio

Robert Young in action for Port Adelaide in 2007 - AFL,Draft,St Kilda Saints
Robert Young in action for Port Adelaide in 2007

ST KILDA showed the highlights reel of Robert Young for Graeme Allan and others in the list management team who didn't know about the North Adelaide small forward.

Young, 23, played 19 games for the Roosters this year and helped them win the SANFL flag.

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"We just watched his vision again to show a few of our recruiters like 'Gubby' Allan, who didn't know about him," football manager Simon Lethlean told reporters on Friday.

"He's quite an aggressive chase-down tackler. Played in the premiership for North Adelaide this year. He's certainly a forward 50 sort of player.

"Quick, aggressive and got a bit of agitation about him too, so he'll ruffle a few feathers."

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He wasn't the only mature-age pick-up, with South Fremantle forward Matthew Parker (22) and Essendon VFL wingman Nick Hind (24) also becoming Saints.

"We've got the second-youngest list in the comp at the moment. We've certainly added Max King and Jack Bytel with our first two picks, but felt it was time to put some mature-age guys in that mix as well," Lethlean said.

While their age was an advantage, there was another attribute St Kilda desired.

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"They're three really fast players too. They have the pace that we need at our club," Lethlean said.

The additions of Parker and Young in particular will give the Saints more flexibility.

"It'll allow Jade Gresham and Jack Billings a bit more time in the midfield too," Lethlean said.

"We talked about, 'Why take Max King if you need some mids?'. Well, we took (Hunter) Clark and (Nick) Coffield last year, we've added (Dan) Hannebery, we've added (Dean) Kent and Young (and) that will push Jack and Jade into the midfield too."

Inside ball-winner Jack Bytel was drafted at No.41 after struggling with back issues throughout 2018.

"Jack is a player that we thought would have been a first-round pick but for the injuries this year. I think he was the second-highest stat-getter behind Sam Walsh last year in the TAC Cup," Lethlean said.

He adds to an inside midfield unit that includes David Armitage, Luke Dunstan, Dan Hannebery, Seb Ross, Jack Steele and Jack Steven, but Lethlean wasn't concerned about having too many of the same type.

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"Inside mids are pretty important. The best players will get picked and those that don't will move on. That's what you do," Lethlean said.

"You stock your club full of quality mids, and we're trying to do that."

The Saints don't have a second or third-round selection in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, as was the case heading into this year's edition.

Lethlean predicted that would again change.

"We'll find our way back in," Lethlean said.