ST KILDA has revived the career of former Port Adelaide defender Jarrod Lienert ahead of the pre-season supplemental selection period deadline on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old arrived at RSEA Park along with ex-Richmond wingman-half-back Patrick Naish midway through February and has impressed many internally during his audition.
St Kilda list manager James Gallagher informed Lienert of the decision on Tuesday after he played for Sandringham in the VFL on Saturday.
Lienert was considered unlucky not to earn another deal at the Power by some inside Alberton, struggling to cement a spot in a defence that included captain Tom Jonas, All-Australian Aliir Aliir, Trent McKenzie, Tom Clurey and Darcy Byrne-Jones.
The South Australian had returned to his SANFL club Sturt after playing 23 games across four seasons at Alberton and was set to play for the Double Blues, but will now provide Brett Ratten's side with some added versatility and depth in defence.
Lienert is the second player St Kilda has signed in the past week after the club finally signed Woodville-West Torrens star Jack Hayes last Wednesday after trialling the 25-year-old across the summer.
St Kilda was only considering Hayes before young defender Nick Coffield tore his anterior cruciate ligament in match simulation at MARS Stadium earlier this month.
But after losing the 2017 No.8 pick, the Saints decided to explore some experienced security, inviting Lienert and ex-Tiger Patrick Naish to train during the closing weeks of the pre-season supplemental selection period.
Naish, 22, caught many by surprise when he decided to leave Moorabbin to accept an offer to train with West Coast late last week when the West Australian border reopened.
It is understood the Norwood wingman was told he was a better chance of earning another opportunity at AFL level with the Eagles, rather than at the Saints, hedging his bets with Lienert in front at that stage.
But with Zak Jones taking an indefinite break from the game to focus on his mental health, and Jack Billings and Hunter Clark suffering injuries in the AAMI Community Series that will sideline them for at least the first month of the season, Naish might have been the preferred option if he was still training at the club.
Naish produced a strong showing for the Eagles in the pre-season derby on Sunday and could join Lienert back in the AFL system by the time the deadline close.
With veteran ruckman Paddy Ryder running out of time to prove his fitness ahead of round one due to lingering issues with his Achilles, Hayes is firming as a round one selection bolter following an impressive performance against Essendon on Saturday night.
Lienert proved in St Kilda's intra-club last month that he can step in and play a role if needed at times this season.
St Kilda doesn’t have another spot available on its list right now, but can open another spot ahead of the mid-season rookie draft by moving injured defender Nick Coffield to the inactive list.