ST KILDA paid a hefty price for star recruit Bradley Hill and the former Fremantle speedster was a clear standout in match simulation at training on Thursday.
Played on a small-sized oval marked out on the vast expanse of Moorabbin, Hill showed his blistering pace and hard running both offensively and defensively, at one point sprinting the length of the field to rush a behind.
The Saints gave up picks 10 and 58, future second- and fourth-rounders and Blake Acres in return for Hill and a future third-round selection during the Telstra AFL Trade Period, in a quest to add some outside run.
Recruit Bradley Hill kicks off this tidy bit of play with a neat kick. pic.twitter.com/Tv5gUqiLYr— Sarah Black (@_sjblack) December 12, 2019
Hill sat out the second half of the first portion of match play, which was conducted complete with two umpires, before re-joining when the Saints reconfigured the oval, playing across the width of the ground.
The Saints battled in 2019 to use the ball cleanly and were often let down by poor choices, and there was a clear focus on movement and making the right decisions across the two-hour session.
The embattled Dan Hannebery resumed running last week after breaking his right foot in mid-October after accidentally tripping down some stairs.
He was out on the track for the first half of training, running laps and doing some low-intensity kicking.
Dan Hannebery is back running after breaking his foot pic.twitter.com/VdKuY3yeyY— Sarah Black (@_sjblack) December 11, 2019
Young key forward Max King will be hoping to make his AFL debut in 2020 after five VFL games this year.
He was drafted to the club with pick No.4 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft while in the midst of rehabbing a torn ACL, before suffering a syndesmosis injury to his ankle in July.
The rangy 19-year-old spent a brief period doing some short, sharp leading work – focusing on taking the ball at the highest point – with former Hawthorn star forward Jarryd Roughead, who has joined the Saints in a football operations role since his retirement.
Max King does some one-on-one work with Jarryd Roughead pic.twitter.com/HTPK4M9xaE— Sarah Black (@_sjblack) December 12, 2019
Other observations from training:
- Veteran big men Jake Carlisle and Paddy Ryder completed long-distance sprint work away from the main group; the pair are on individual training programs and completed a long ball-work session earlier this week
- Jimmy Webster has nearly recovered from some back tightness and spent the first half of the session running laps
- Jack Steele (knee) and Nick Coffield (shoulder) are in the latter stages of recovery from surgery and are restricted to non-contact work
- The three young players taken in the national and rookie drafts – Leo Connolly, Ryan Byrnes and Jack Bell – took part in the first half of training before running laps in a group
- Roughead continually implored the playing group to "don't be last in" to the huddle between drills. At one point, the last four players were "punished" with a piggyback war