Saints must ask themselves tough question

Saints must ask themselves tough question

Is St Kilda’s current list good enough to win a premiership? SEN host Gerard Whateley doesn’t believe so.

It’s highly unlikely the Saints will play finals this year following an unfortunate 15-point loss to Brisbane at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

The Saints kicked themselves out of the match with young forward Max King finishing the night with 0.5, squandering four set shots in the second half.

With St Kilda’s finals hopes in tatters after an 8-3 start to the season, questions remain about their list profile and whether it’s capable of contending for a flag.

Whateley and David King discussed the Saints’ list at length and the direction the club should take in 2023.

Whatley: “They have to ask themselves the question really coldly: Is our premiership in this group? And the answer to that is no.

“It’s no – they’re not winning their premiership with this team.”

King: “Why?”

Whatley: “It’s a curious mishmash, there’s not enough draft talent, there’s too many consultants.

“In my personal belief, there’s enough evidence at the end of this year to go, ‘This group is not winning the flag, so what is our strategic approach?’

“And I don’t think it’s one or two players from other clubs. I think they have to scoop into the draft in the next two years. That’s only my view.”

King: “So that’s a long way back.”

Whatley: “It is.”

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King: “I’m looking at the trajectory of Max King’s career and going, ‘We’re three years in, we have to build a team with him at the pinnacle of his days that’s going to be contending for the flag’.

“I think that’s six to nine years. That gives you three years to build a list around him.”

King: “That’s not a great timeline.”

Whatley: “No, it’s not. They’re mid-table ordinary and they will stay mid-table ordinary adding a player here or there, here or there.

“That’s only my view.

“Do they have their flag in this group?”

King: “I think they play some brilliant footy. When their pressure game’s on, they’re a competent, contender-style outfit for me.

“But then they go away from that too quickly and they become a little bit fraudulent with how they score, guys getting forward of the ball, they go out of pressure into getting forward of the ball in a heartbeat.

“When they’re living in pressure and maintain the game in pressure, I think they’re very good.

“Do they need some more talent? Everyone needs more talent. I just think they’ve got to get their game right.

“They were flying at the mid-point of the season. We weren’t saying that at 8-3, were we?”

Whatley: “It looked like they were putting themselves in contention, but they said themselves we’ll be tested on the way home, and they’re going to come out of that test best case 4-7, they’re looking at 3- 8.

“The worst thing for a club is to not know where they’re at – they have to know where they’re at at the end of the season – and they have to be right.”

King: “I think they’d stick fat with what they’ve got, and maybe hope to trade around the edges.

“I think this is Brett Ratten’s lot, he has to win a flag with this group otherwise it won’t be Brett Ratten (in the future).”

The 10th-placed Saints host second-placed Sydney at Marvel Stadium on Sunday to round out their home and away campaign.