The St Kilda Football Club’s wait for a premiership is one of the longest in Australian football.
Since their inception in 1897, the Saints and their long-suffering fans have tasted the ultimate success just once – by one point over Collingwood in 1966.
St Kilda’s history is that of a perpetually underachieving team. The Saints have won more wooden spoons (27) than any other team in the history of the VFL/AFL and have often been mired in mediocrity and scandal.
The club has had its chances to change its fate. It has played in eight grand finals (including one replay final after a draw in 2010), with one solitary triumph.
While pain and heartbreak has become part of the identity of the club and its fans, there’s no doubt that the Saints have fielded some of the absolute greats of the game – individual champions that will go down in football folklore.
A St Kilda player has been awarded the Brownlow Medal 10 times. Notably, both Ian Stewart and Robert Harvey both won back-to-back awards and the AFL’s goal-kicking record holder, Tony Lockett, was the last full forward to win the medal in 1987.
After coming agonisingly close to a second premiership in 2009 and 2010, the Saints have been rebuilding since their last finals campaign in 2011 and have not made the top eight since.
Can the Saints ever add to their trophy cabinet? Let’s see what the bookies think of their chances in the upcoming AFL campaign.
About the St Kilda Saints
|Home ground:||Etihad Stadium|
|Premierships:||1 – 1966|
|2018 ladder finish:||16th|
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Updated St Kilda Saints futures betting
|2019 Premiership||Make Finals||Wooden Spoon||Brownlow Odds||Rising Star Odds||Coleman Odds|
|Jan||$67||$6||$8||J Steven $51||–||T Membrey $81|
|Feb||$67||$6.50||$8||J Steven $51||N Coffield $17||T Membrey $101|
|Mar||$81||$6.50||$6||J Steven $81||N Coffield $21||T Membrey $101|
|Apr||$67||$3.50||$17||J Billings $51||J Battle $34||J Bruce $81|
|May||$101||$3.10||$81||J Billings $26||B Paton $41||T Membrey $67|
|Jun||$251||$11||$34||J Billings $81||J Battle $41||T Membrey $81|
Best St Kilda bets for the 2019 AFL season
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- Don’t even think about it. Perhaps only Carlton and Gold Coast are further away from a premiership window than the long-suffering Saints, who simply don’t have the top-end talent required to compete week in, week out.
- It might sound harsh, but there is every chance St Kilda could slip into a tussle for the wooden spoon. They have good players in every third of the ground, but not nearly as many as the teams pushing for finals. All it will take is one or two stars to go down injured for St Kilda’s season to fall apart.
- We have seen in recent years that star midfielders in poor teams can go very high in the Brownlow voting. Jack Steven was among those bolters in 2018, polling 18 votes in a side that finished third from bottom. Jack Billings is another who is capable of multiple best-on-ground performances, so look at those two to top the charts for St Kilda.
- The Saints could have a few contenders in the betting for the AFL Rising Star. Nick Coffield played 10 senior games last season and starts the year as the best bet for St Kilda. Max King was the club’s top pick at the 2018 AFL Draft and will come into the equation as the season goes on, while Josh Battle is another key forward on the radar.
- It would be a huge surprise if any Saints forward made a real dash for the Coleman Medal this year. Jade Gresham topped the club goalkicking in 2018 with 35, while Tim Membrey’s best tally for a season is 44. Look elsewhere.
St Kilda Saints 2019 AFL fixture
|1||Gold Coast Suns||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, March 24||1:10pm AEDT|
|2||Essendon Bombers||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, March 30||4:35pm AEDT|
|3||Fremantle Dockers||Optus Stadium||Sunday, April 7||3:20pm AWST|
|4||Hawthorn Hawks||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, April 14||3:20pm AEST|
|5||Melbourne Demons||MCG||Saturday, April 20||4:35pm AEST|
|6||Adelaide Crows||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, April 27||4:35pm AEST|
|7||GWS Giants||UNSW Canberra||Saturday, May 4||1:45pm AEST|
|8||West Coast Eagles||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, May 11||7:25pm AEST|
|9||Collingwood Magpies||MCG||Saturday, May 18||1:45pm AEST|
|10||Carlton Blues||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, May 26||3:20pm AEST|
|11||Port Adelaide Power||Jiangwan Stadium||Sunday, June 2||12:40pm AWST|
|13||Gold Coast Suns||Riverway Stadium||Saturday, June 15||1:45pm AEST|
|14||Brisbane Lions||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, June 22||4:35pm AEST|
|15||Richmond Tigers||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, Sunday 30||1:10pm AEST|
|16||North Melbourne Kangaroos||Blundstone Arena||Sunday, July 7||3:20pm AEST|
|17||Geelong Cats||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, July 13||7:20pm AEST|
|18||Western Bulldogs||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, July 21||4:40pm AEST|
|19||Melbourne Demons||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, July 27||7:25pm AEST|
|20||Adelaide Crows||Adelaide Oval||Saturday, August 3||7:10pm ACST|
|21||Fremantle Dockers||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, August 11||1:10pm AEST|
|22||Carlton Blues||MCG||Saturday, August 17||1:45pm AEST|
St Kilda players to watch in 2019
Hannebery’s move to Moorabbin was one of the most discussed pieces of business in the last trade window. The Sydney Swans premiership player has endured a steep and injury-riddled decline over the past two seasons, so something will have to change if the Saints are to get any bang for their buck.
The footy world is waiting for Billings to put it all together for a full season. The Oakleigh Chargers product has given us plenty of highlights already in his short career, but he needs to find higher standards of consistency if he wants to take that next step as an AFL player.
Very little has gone right for McCartin in his first few years at St Kilda. The no.1 draft pick of 2014 was looking good in preseason before picking up another head knock in a hit-out against the Western Bulldogs. If he doesn’t start delivering soon, the Saints will have to think about cutting their losses.
St Kilda Saints records
Most matches: Robert Harvey – 383 (1988–2008)
Most goals kicked in one match: Tony Lockett – 15 (1992)
Most Best & Fairest awards: Nick Riewoldt – five (2002, 2004, 2006-07, 2009)
Most matches as coach: Alan Jeans – 332 (1961–1976)
Most goals in a season: Tony Lockett – 132 (1992)
Most career goals: Tony Lockett – 898 (1983–1994)
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