• 2015 NAB AFL Draft tracker: Profiles, pics and video highlights of every draftee
• Going places: Four extraordinary draft stories
• Every NAB AFL Draft pick ever
• NAB AFL Draft Hub: Get to know your club's future stars
• Inside the Combine: the tests and top performers
SECURING highly touted Vic Metro midfielder Jade Gresham at Tuesday night's NAB AFL Draft vindicates the hardline stance St Kilda took during the Jake Carlisle trade negotiations, Saints list manager Ameet Bains says.
St Kilda secured Carlisle from Essendon on the penultimate day of last month's trade period after protracted and, at times, testy dealings with the Bombers.
The Saints refused to buckle to the Bombers' initial demand of a straight swap for pick No.5, only agreeing to release the prized selection after the Sydney Swans agreed to become involved in the deal and, among things, pass on their first-round selection to the Saints.
St Kilda used that pick – it was No.14 initially but slid to No.18 after Academy bids were made – on Gresham, who this year won Vic Metro's MVP award, the TAC Cup Coaches Award and under-18 All Australian honours.
"We were glad to have got [the Carlisle] deal done in the end but certainly keeping a first-round pick on a night like tonight and being able to bring a player like Jade Gresham through the door makes us feel that we were right," Bains said.
St Kilda was also able to claim father-son nominee Bailey Rice at the draft, content that matching Richmond's bid of pick No.49 represented fair value.
"We were rapt to be able to bring him in," Bains said.
"You're always unsure as to what other clubs will do and we heard a variety of possibilities, but it's worked out pretty well on the night.
Selection No.18 – Jade Gresham
"He's had a fantastic year, captaining the Northern Knights and winning the medal for Vic Metro in the Championships. He can play through the midfield, wins the footy, but can also play forward as well. He has very good skills and good speed, so he's someone who can complement us at all levels." - Ameet Bains
Selection No.40 – Brandon White
"At Dandenong Stringrays he predominantly played half-back, but he played a bit of footy up forward in his junior days. He has elite pace, is an elite left foot kick, very competitive and can take an overhead mark." - Ameet Bains
Selection No.49 – Bailey Rice
"A really tough competitive player, strong overhead, elite foot skills and, from our point of view, continues on the tradition of (his father) Dean having played for the club many moons ago." - Ameet Bains