One football year ago the Blues stamped out a spirited Saints outfit looking to resurrect their already flatlining season.
That night marked the debut of Arryn Siposs, whose 60-metre bomb late in the game that in the grand scheme of things is one of the more exciting moments of a difficult season.
His debut was part of an ultimately temporary attempt to inject some youth and energy into a side that looked fatigued after the heartbreaking Grand Finals of 2009 and 2010. The first half of the season saw a few games given to each of a raft of youngsters either new or not a part of the established side, including Siposs, Cripps, Ledger, Winmar, Simpkin, Johnson, Archer, Smith, Lynch and Stanley. It didn’t last when the coaches made a late season charge towards finals the priority.
The Blues then were looking to really make an impact come finals after successive Elimination Final exits and were an umpiring decision away from a Preliminary Final. Gibbs, Murphy, Walker and Garlett were coming into their prime and really starting to put together good football consistently, and the forward line was looking very dynamic with Walker, Betts and Garlett creating all sorts of problems. Of course, this was on top of more established players in Judd, Scotland, Carrazzo and Thornton providing quality every week.
A year on and the Blues are dreaming of bigger things. Kreuzer is doing something like what he was promising before hurting his knee in 2010, Robinson, Hampson and Armfield have improved and a strong start to the season suggests they should take out Monday night’s game in good style. Waite will come back in and add another dynamic to the forward line, which will help Betts and Garlett particularly and make life tough for a Fisher-less St Kilda defence.