ST KILDA big man Paul Hunter is the only Saint without a deal for 2022 after Darragh Joyce and Dean Kent recommitted to the club with fresh one-year contracts.
Joyce and Kent had been made to wait until the end of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period to learn their fate, while Hunter's career remains in limbo as St Kilda explores its ruck options.
As reported first by AFL.com.au on Wednesday, St Kilda is eyeing delisted North Melbourne tall Tom Campbell. That interest comes after St Kilda targeted a move for Tristan Xerri throughout the two-week exchange window, only to be turned off by North Melbourne's asking price of a future second-round pick for the contracted youngster.
St Kilda handed Hunter an AFL lifeline at the start of the 2021 season after the ex-Adelaide listed ruckman impressed in an intraclub match. His addition came when other ruck options Paddy Ryder, Rowan Marshall and Shaun McKernan were sidelined.
While it's a nervous time for Hunter, it's good news for the 24-year-old Joyce.
Joyce joined the Saints as a Category B rookie at the end of 2016, becoming the third Irishman to represent the club. Since making his debut against Melbourne in round 15 of the 2018 season, he has played a further nine games for St Kilda and remained a solid option down back in 2021.
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"We were really pleased with Darragh's development over the past few seasons," St Kilda's list manager James Gallagher said.
"His versatility, competitiveness and athleticism give him the ability to man key posts at both ends, and has seen Darragh rewarded with opportunities in the senior line up this year."
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After an injury ravaged first half of 2021, 27-year-old Kent returned to the Saints line-up in round 17, retaining his place for the remainder of the season.
Kent joined St Kilda at the end of 2018 following six years at the Melbourne Football Club, where he played 63 games. Since his debut for the club in round one of the 2019 season, Kent has played 35 games in the red, white and black.
St Kilda is expected to use 4-5 picks in this year's draft, while Callum Wilkie is likely to be promoted to the senior list.