On Friday night the 18 AFL Clubs converge upon Sydney to lay claim on the best young footballing talent in the country. With two picks in the first ten, St Kilda would appear to have a strong opportunity to add quality players to their list.
To answer the question of how valuable their picks are, we will take a look at who the Saints have drafted with the selection previously, and the best five players to have been drafted with the pick. We continue this with the club’s fourth and final selection, pick number 45.
SAINTS PICK 45 HISTORY
Friday night will be the first time the Saints have had the 45th selection in the National Draft. Despite this, success the club has had later in the draft suggests that quality can be discovered at this stage of the draft.
With the 48th pick in the 1994 Draft, St Kilda selected a young man from Beaconsfield named Austinn Jones. Over the next decade, in over 200 games, Aussie would become a fan favourite for the St Kilda faithful. His long running goal in the 1997 Grand Final would provide a rare highlight on an otherwise forgetful day for St Kilda. An All-Australian in 1997 and 2004, he was also a member of St Kilda’s Night Premiership teams in 1996 and 2004.
In 2003 the Saints found themselves an absolute steal when they selected Sam Fisher with the 55th pick in the draft. A reliable and creative defender, Fisher was the cornerstone of St Kilda’s defence throughout his 228 game career. A member of the 2008 Night Premiership team, he also played in St Kilda’s 2009 and 2010 Grand Final teams. A two time Best and Fairest Winner, Fisher earned All Australian honours in 2008
The eighth selection has been quite fruitful for the clubs that have possessed it over the years. The 33 players selected have averaged 49-games, won 5 x Premiership Medals, 6 x All Australian Jerseys and 2 x Best and Fairests. Here are the best of the best, the top five players taken with pick number 45.
Drafted by Collingwood in 2010, Alex Fasolo quickly forced his way into the defending premiers best 22 and was a member of a Grand Final team in his very first season in the AFL.
Reaching his 100 game mileston in 2017, he has been a consistent goal kicker throughout his career, winning the Gordon Coventry Award as Collingwood’s leading goal kicker in 2016.
Drafted from Glenelg in the 1987 Draft, Grenvold did not make his debut for the Bombers until the 1989 season. An unassuming, rugged, reliable, tough old fashioned half back flank, he quickly became a regular in Kevin Sheedy’s Bombers team.
A member of Essendon’s beaten 1990 Grand Final team, he would taste success on the games ultimate stage as a member of the ‘Baby Bombers’ 1993 Premiership team. He would represent South Australia at State of Origin level and would return to Glenelg when he retired from the AFL after 122 games at the end of the 1996 season.
The attacking midfielder come small forward was selected by the Swans with pick 45 in the 2003 Draft. Buchanan had made his debut for Sydney in 2002 but had been delisted at the end of 2003 before being redrafted by the club. It would prove a fortuitous decision for both player and club.
Buchanan was a member of Sydney’s Premiership winning team in 2005 and beaten Grand Final team a year later. It was Buchanan’s goal in the last quarter of the 2005 decider that gave the Swans the lead that they would not surrender to end the club’s 72-year premiership drought.
Overlooked by many clubs due to a perceived lack of size, Kade Simpson was happily snatched up by Carlton with the 45th pick in the 2002 National Draft.
While he would not record a possession in his first three games of AFL, Carlton were well rewarded for their perseverance with the creative half back. Incredibly durable, Simpson played 158 consecutive games between 2005 and 2012. Now nearing on 300 games, Simpson is one of the competition’s elite rebounding half backs and was rewarded with a club best and fairest in 2013.
Geelong acquired Scarlett with the Pick 45 in the 1997 Draft. Whether he would have gone earlier in the draft or not will never be know as he was not available with the Cats being able to snare him under the Father-Son rule. Despite this he is without question the best return a club has had for the 45th selection.
Widely considered the best fullback of his generation, Scarlett revolutionised the role of the fullback with his ability to not just negate his opponent but create attacking opportunities too. Geelong’s 2003 Best and Fairest and a six-time All Australian, Scarlett played an important role in Geelong’s three premiership teams of 2007, 2009, 2011. After each of which, his panache for costumes became almost as respected as his deeds on the paddock.
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