The 2010’s were a period of transition for the Saints as a number of club greats retired or left the club. Without a finals appearance since 2011, it is perhaps unsurprising then that the majority of players in this top ten were members of the 2010 Grand Final team given the dearth of success since.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After playing 54 games for the Swans, the young defender was originally considered 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.
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.
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.
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.