ST KILDA defender Josh Battle has put pen to paper on a new two-year extension, ending speculation regarding his future at the club. 

As flagged by Inside Trading last month, can confirm the 23-year-old has recommitted to the Saints until at least the end of 2024 in a major coup for the club.

Battle has become a permanent fixture in Brett Ratten’s backline in 2022, playing all 19 games since moving down there alongside Dougal Howard and Cal Wilkie. 

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After being drafted from the Dandenong Stingrays as a key forward, Battle has played all over the ground until producing a career-best season as a defender.

The 193cm, 92kg backman is rated elite among key defenders for disposals, kicks, marks and metres gained across the first 20 rounds. 

As flagged by Inside Trading last month, Battle’s management has been in negotiations with St Kilda list boss James Gallagher in recent months, before a deal was finalised this week. 

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Battle was touted as a possible trade target by rival clubs last year and has attracted interest again in 2022, but his new deal will take him through to free agency. 

St Kilda locked away Jack Steele and Max King on long-term contracts last year, before re-signing Rowan Marshall on a five-year deal in June, as well as Dan Butler, Ben Paton and Cooper Sharman on two-year deals last week. 

With the ink still drying on Battle’s new contract, the Saints will need to make decisions on two veterans between now and the end of October. 

Josh Battle and Paddy Ryder enjoy St Kilda's win over Richmond in R3, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Ruckman Paddy Ryder won’t return before September due to a calf injury but wants to play on in 2023 despite turning 35 before round one.

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Three-time All-Australian Dan Hannebery made a successful return to senior football last weekend, but has endured a nightmare run on the injury front and is no certainty to earn a deal for next season.