June 21, 2024

For the Saints, the strategy is straightforward – if you have the financial resources, invest them.

Recent rumors have circulated about the club offering Jacob Weitering a lucrative eight-year deal worth $12 million. While the accuracy of this figure remains uncertain, it underscores the fact that St Kilda possesses a substantial financial reserve.

Although this approach can carry risks, such as potentially overpaying for available but not necessarily ideal players, the Saints have identified Weitering as the perfect candidate to explore such a significant offer. Even if Weitering ultimately decides against a move, the Saints have strategically targeted a player who could make a significant impact and potentially unsettle their competitors.

At the onset of the season, there was a sense that the Saints had assembled a competitive roster – a sentiment echoed in previous analyses. However, they’ve seemingly underestimated their own potential, adopting a conservative style of play that belies their considerable talent. While criticism of their current performance is warranted, it’s important to recognize that their issues are rectifiable with a measured approach.

Nonetheless, St Kilda is not far from being a contender for finals football, and the current window presents an opportunity for strategic recruitment to bolster their ranks. It’s worth noting that securing players from other clubs, particularly those from interstate, presents challenges beyond mere financial offers.

Injury update: Jacob Weitering

Apart from Jacob Weitering, who becomes a free agent in 2025, there are other players who could significantly enhance the Saints’ prospects in the same timeframe. Andrew Brayshaw and Luke Davies-Uniacke stand out as potential game-changers in the midfield, offering quality and dynamic play that could lift St Kilda’s performance.

Charlie Ballard is another intriguing option. While he has expressed loyalty to the Gold Coast Suns, his recent role changes and form under Damien Hardwick suggest a possible opportunity for the Saints to pursue him. Known for his intercepting abilities, Ballard’s versatility and strategic acumen could greatly benefit St Kilda’s defensive structure.

While Darcy Fogarty and Cam Rayner may attract attention, it’s unlikely that players like Sam Taylor and Oscar Allen would leave their current clubs. Therefore, the Saints must approach their recruitment efforts with realistic expectations while exploring avenues to strengthen their lineup effectively.

Discussing 2024 free agents carries the risk of their imminent re-signing, but with the Saints’ ample financial resources, they have the opportunity to make strategic moves now, rather than banking on one significant acquisition.

While there may be some inherent bias, Josh Battle’s versatility and skill make him an attractive target for any club. Re-signing him would provide long-term benefits, although there’s always a limit to the relationship between player and club.

Expectations are high for the Saints to secure the likes of Mitch Owens and Marcus Windhager, with Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera potentially signing a longer-term deal.

In terms of pursuing opposition players, Hugh McCluggage emerges as a prime target. Despite being offered a lengthy deal by the Lions, his potential as an inside midfielder has been somewhat overlooked. The Saints could offer him a leading midfield role, enhancing their overall team dynamics significantly.

Another intriguing option is Cameron Zurhaar, whose attacking prowess and increased tackling numbers make him an appealing target. His presence could provide valuable support and development opportunities for rising star Mitch Owens.

While competing with Sydney for Zurhaar might be challenging, the Saints should explore all options to strengthen their lineup. With the mid-season draft and a high draft pick at their disposal, combined with existing young talent, the Saints have the means to elevate their performance and make a serious push for finals football.

AFL 2021: Fremantle Dockers, Andrew Brayshaw, top 10 midfielder, young  players, improvement, Justin Longmuir

Ultimately, with their substantial financial reserves, the Saints should seize the opportunity to invest in players who can immediately enhance their prospects for success in September. While the rumored pursuit of Weitering may not materialize, the Saints have the resources to make significant moves and elevate their standing in the league.

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