St Kilda Team of the Decade (2010-19)

With the end of the decade upon us, Bozza reflects on the Saints who soared highest for the club and selects the St Kilda Football Club Team of the Decade.

It was a decade that started better than it ended for the Saints which is reflected in the players selected for this team. Despite nearly 100 players representing the club over the course of the decade more than half the team were members of the 2010 Grand Final team.

So let the arguments begin, here is our St Kilda Team of the Decade 2010-19.

Note: Stats and awards listed are for the 2010-19 period only.


BACKS

Sean DempsterSam FisherJarryn Geary
AA 2012B&F 2011Captain 2017-

Sean Dempster: After playing 54 games for the Swans, the young defender was the ‘steak knives’ in the Saints trade for Adam Schneider at the end of the 2007 season. Despite this, he quickly became one of the most reliable and dependable players at the club in a 154 game career in red, black and white. A creative defender, his ability to play tall meant that he often was matched up on, and beat, the likes of Buddy Franklin despite giving away a considerable height advantage. A 2012 All Australian, Dempster would finish Top Three in the Trevor Barker Award on four consecutive occasions from 2011-15.

Sam Fisher: With elite decision making and ball use, Sam Fisher was a defender who played on and overcame some of the best forwards in the game in a decorated career for the Saints. A member of the 2010 Grand Final team, Fisher would claim his second Trevor Barker Award in 2011, three years after claiming his first. His retirement at the end of the 2016 season left a gaping hole in the Saints defensive half.

Jarryn Geary: Hard as a cat’s head, Geary has been an illustration of determination from the moment he arrived at the club as a rookie selection in 2006. There was no greater example of this than his remarkable return to the field a mere 44 days after emergency surgery on a badly corked thigh. Has led by example since becoming captain in 2017, repaying the faith of those who chose him to replace Nick Riewoldt, the club’s longest serving captain.


Dylan RobertonSam GilbertBrendon Goddard
AA Squad 20173rd 2010 B&FAA 2010

Dylan Roberton: Coming to the club as a delisted free-agent, Roberton has been a genuine steal for the Saints. After joining the club as a delisted free-agent at the end of the 2012 season, Roberton quickly became a vital member of the team with his creativity and run off half back. Runner-up in the Trevor Barker Medal in 2017, the rebounding defender was also recognised for his efforts that season with selection in the 40-man All-Australian Squad. Unfortunately, it has been in his absence in the two seasons since that his importance to the team has become even more evident. Saints fans will be hoping that Roberton has a change of luck in 2020 and he can return to the park and rediscover some of his best form after health concerns.

Sam Gilbert: A Rugby League player until his late teens, Gilbert may not have been the most naturally gifted footballer but he was one of the most determined. A hard tackler, whilst being almost impossible to tackle himself, he thrived under the hard nosed approach of the Ross Lyon years finishing third in the 2010 B&F.

Brendon Goddard: While he spent much of the decade elsewhere, he was integral to the club’s finals appearances in 2010-11 and warrants selection on that basis. Then there was his herculean last quarter of the 2010 Grand Final where, for a few wonderful moments, it seemed like he might have helped secure the club’s second premiership.


Be sure to check out which players were named the Top Ten Saints of the Decade.

MIDFIELD

Leigh MontagnaSeb RossJack Steven
AA 20102x B&F4x B&F

Leigh Montagna: While he may not have attracted the attention some of his bigger name team mates did during his time in Red, Black and White, this is no reflection on his influence on the park each weekend. A two time All Australian and five time place-getter in the Trevor Barker Award, Montagna was consistently one of the Saints’ better performers. With crisp and penetrating disposal Montagna transitioned perfectly later in his career from the midfield to the half back flank where used his skill and decision making to turn defence into attack.

Seb Ross: Brought to the club with pick 25 in the 2011 draft, Seb Ross has been a consistent ball winner for the Saints through a difficult period averaging nearly 25 possessions across his 124 games. A leader within the group, he has been vice-captain for the last two seasons and has won two Best and Fairest in the last three seasons.

Jack Steven: After arriving at the club from Lorne in 2008, Jack Steven made his debut in 2009 before establishing himself in the team during the 2011 season. His explosive pace and ferociousness at the contest quickly made him one of the team’s premier midfielders. These attributes were rewarded with the Trevor Barker Medal in 2013, 15, 16 & 18 making him one of the most decorated players in the history of the award.

Ben McEvoyLenny HayesNick Dal Santo
2010 GF Replay2010 Norm Smith2nd 2011 Brownlow

Ben McEvoy: The Saints received Shane Savage, Luke Dunstan and Blake Acres as way of compensation for trading McEvoy to Hawthorn which shows how valuable both clubs rated him in 2013. He played 79 games during the decade at St Kilda and seemed destined for a leadership position until traded.

Lenny Hayes: A fierce competitor, a dedicated clubman and an elite midfielder, there haven’t been too many players more beloved by the St Kilda faithful in recent times than Lenny Hayes. The 2010 Norm Smith Medalist, Hayes would claim two of his three best and fairests this decade in 2010 and 2012. Universally respected in the football world, he would add the Madden Medal to his collection of honours upon his retirement in 2014.

Nick Dal Santo: A member of the 2010 Grand Final team, Dal Santo was one of the the most skilful players at the club until his departure at the end of the 2013 season. A runner-up in the 2011 Brownlow Medal, the silky midfielder also earned All-Australian selection that season. One of the first players picked each week, and incredibly durable, he played every game between 2010-2013.



FORWARDS

Tim MembreyNick RiewoldtJade Gresham
3x Leading Goalkicker2x Leading Goalkicker1x Leading Goalkicker

Tim Membrey: A consistent, hardworking, forward target throughout his time at St Kilda, Membrey is the club’s top five for contested marks and top three for goals for the decade. Will still yet to have celebrated his 26th birthday when the 2020 season begins which suggests his very best might still be in front of him.

Nick Riewoldt: Deserving of a place in any conversation regarding the greatest players to represent the club, it was impossible to overlook Nick Riewoldt when it came time to crown the best player of the decade. The longest serving captain in the history of the club, Riewoldt was the clubs leading goal kicker for the period, and seasons 2013-14 the latter year he also claimed Best & Fairest and All-Australian honours.

Jade Gresham: One of the most exciting young prospects at the club for some time, Gresham has produced some of the most exciting moments for the Saints in the back half of this decade. While he is likely to do most of his damage in the midfield in the 2020’s, he was seventh for goals kicked in the 2010’s.

Adam SchneiderJosh BruceStephen Milne
98 goals1x Leading Goalkicker3x Leading goalkicker

Adam Schneider: A player with elite decision making and remarkable goal sense he formed a powerful one-two small forward strike force with Stephen Milne. A consistent performer he averaged over a goal a game throughout the decade in 87 games for the club.

Josh Bruce: A strong contested mark and solid kick for goal, Bruce consistently hit the scoreboard in his time at Moorabbin. He kicked 168 goals in 99 games for the club and finished with 36 goals or more in each of his four injury free seasons. 

Stephen Milne: What can be said about Stephen Milne that hasn’t already been said? Small in stature, the creative goal sneak who became the single game and career goal kicking record holder at Docklands, was one of the biggest characters to ever don the tri-colour jersey. Despite being in the twilight of his career and playing just four seasons of the decade, Milne had more 50+ goals seasons in the period than any other Saint and was second only to Nick Riewoldt for total goals kicked.



INTERCHANGE

Jason BlakeClinton JonesDavid ArmitageShane Savage
2010 GF2010 GF2nd 2016 B&F107 games

Jason Blake: Wikipedia describes Blake as an undersized defender and occasional ruckman but this only tells half the story of a lionhearted player who gave everything for the club.

Clinton Jones: Another Saint who’s effort could never be questioned, Jones endurance and competitiveness helped him became one of the competition’s most effective run with players.

David Armitage: A courageous midfielder with a relentless attack on the ball, Armitage was a constant in the Saints best 22 for much of the decade until injuries intervened.

Shane Savage: A creative half back with a booming kick, Savage has been a valuable addition to the club in 107 games since coming across from Hawthorn at the end of 2013.


ST KILDA TEAM OF THE DECADE (2010-19)

FB: Dempster Fisher Geary

HB: Roberton Gilbert Savage

C: Montagna Ross Steven

HF: Membrey Riewoldt Gresham

FF: Schneider Bruce Milne

R: McEvoy Hayes Dal Santo

INT: Blake Jones Armitage Savage


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