Seb Ross put together a strong season for the Saints. Picture: Michael Klein
Seb Ross put together a strong season for the Saints. Picture: Michael Klein

When will St Kilda’s nightmare end?

IT'S like one of those days when the mechanic has taken an hour or two to look under the hood and rings with the bad news about midday - it's going to be a costly one.

To say things didn't go as planned this season for the Saints is an understatement.

There were injuries, but there had been talk they could have snuck into the eight.

It couldn't have been further from the truth as goalkicking again proved wayward and star power was lacking. It made for the fourth season in six with six wins or less. Not pretty.

TRADE TABLE

There's fresh talk about Jared Polec and while there's huge numbers being bandied about, such speed on the outside would be one step towards exactly what St Kilda needs. The classy left-footer is coming off a cracking season and would be a handy addition. Another ruckman should be on the club's radar after news Scott Lycett could be off to Port Adelaide.

DRAFT STRATEGY

Two words. Speed. Class. The Saints have been lacking in superstar power and with just one pick inside the top 50 - and an early one - they'll need to make it count. This is expected to be a strong draft and the Saints will need to be smart.

Seb Ross put together a strong season for the Saints. Picture: AAP Images
Seb Ross put together a strong season for the Saints. Picture: AAP Images

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

- That Round 15 win over Melbourne was a nailbiter but was high-scoring and showed some nerve. Some promise.

- Seb Ross willed his side on on more than one occasion and his ball-winning was prolific.

- Nathan Freeman's debut. Yes, his time at the Saints was short-lived, but it was a nice late-season spark.

WHO WINS B&F: Seb Ross

NEXT YEAR'S GOAL

The club wanted a second premiership by 2020 but unfortunately the plan of being a top-four side by now hasn't panned out. Instead, edging closer to a 10-win season seems more like a more manageable reality.

ROBBO SAYS

Saints fans haven't been this disappointed since Stephen Milne propped and the ball bounced through for a behind. But at least that year, they were in the GF. This season was a nightmare. Injuries, lack of leadership and development, spineless efforts, coach under siege, club clean out … it was a crisis on all fronts. A reset was badly needed.

What year should you book your Grand Final tickets?

Despite the 2014-2018 "strategic framework" indicating it could be by next year, somewhere in the range of 2023-2025 seems more the case.

It was a touch year in charge for Alan Richardson. Picture: Michael Klein
It was a touch year in charge for Alan Richardson. Picture: Michael Klein

WHO WILL MAKE THE NEXT FLAG SIDE?

B: Jake Carlisle, Logan Austin

HB: Dylan Roberton

MIDS: Jack Steele

HF:

F: Jade Gresham, Rowan Marshall, Paddy McCartin

Folls: Seb Ross

Inter:

TOP-RANKED SAINTS

SuperCoach points: Seb Ross 102.7

Disposals: Seb Ross 30.1

Kick rating: Jimmy Webster +6.8

Contested poss: Jack Steele 10.2

Uncontested poss: Seb Ross 20.2

Metres gained: Seb Ross 473

Intercept poss: Jake Carlisle 7.2

Goals: Jade Gresham 25

Score involvements: Jack Billings 6.4

Pressure points: Jack Steele 56.8

Source: Champion Data