In the first of our 2014 report cards, we rate St Kilda’s season…and it isn’t pretty.
(18th: 4 wins, 18 losses)
What’s gone right:
Not a hell of a lot.
St Kilda’s season got off to a flyer with two wins in its first two games, but Alan Richardson’s side only managed two more wins in the remaining 20 games of the season.
If there were any positives to come out of 2014, it was the emergence of young guns such as Luke Dunstan and Jack Billings. Both look like superb footballers and will be at the forefront of the new generation of Saints to help propel the club back into a finals position.
What’s gone wrong:
St Kilda’s biggest issue this season was its defensive structure, leaking an average of 110 points a game – the highest of any team in the competition by a decent margin.
Alan Richardson always said this year was all about development and there’s no doubt inexperience proved to be costly in many of its heavy losses.
Riewoldt and Hayes typically gave it their all, but there’s only so much they could do.
The Saints haven’t had much to cheer about this season, but Steven’s performances give the club a glimmer into a brighter future.
Steven averaged 12 kicks and 21 disposals this season and along with Hayes, Riewoldt, Dunstan and Billings, kept the Saints in some games in which they looked like they would be completely blown away.
Unfortunately for the loyal Saints fans there will be a lot more pain before fortunes start to change.
Alan Richardson hasn’t shied away from using youngsters this season and has used 42 in total – second only to the Giants.
It’s going to take time, but the regeneration of the squad can only mean positive things for the club’s long-suffering fans.