This Monday night we go back 140 years, to 1873. A time when the Saints were introducing a raft of new names to the league, in the hopes of over the coming years filling up a barely-touched trophy cabinet…uh…
It’s been a storied 140 years for almost entirely the wrong reasons, but at least we get to wear an awesome jumper at the end of it. On Monday night I’ll be in a stupor as the Saints run around in one of my favourite St Kilda jumpers of all time. I’d take the design (sans names of course) as a full-time jumper in a heartbeat, although I don’t think I’d have many agreeing with me quite so enthusiastically on that one.
Amongst the sea of 140 Years jumpers there’ll be some guys playing a game of footy. The Saints are every chance of finishing this game with a 1-6 record and a trip to Adelaide to come, but there’s the bigger picture to look at with a whole lots of younger guys playing.
Among them is Jimmy THE NECK Webster, who makes his debut 10 days after his family home burnt down, ffs. That’s a bananas week or so, and let’s hope it finishes well. We’ve all seen him combining with Spencer White in the VFL the other week, and his great left-foot disposal off half-back is just the kind of thing needed by this team over the coming years.
Big Tom Hickey comes back into the team, and he and Big Ben will have their work cut out for them with Kreuzer returning and Warnock and Hampson to deal with also. Having the two ruckmen in means Big Rhys will spend most of his game down back on Hampson or Kreuzer. Waite’s suspension might take away one problem, but then there’s Garlett, Yarran and Betts to think about too.
Carlton’s small forwards certainly seem more imposing than the Saints’. Saad is lucky to get another game and Milne v.2013 barely compares to any previous form of Tip Rat. Milera comes in after only injury prevented him from getting a game last week. They all turned it on in last year’s Round 7 Monday night game, which was one of the most enjoyable wins of the year. But it’s a different team this year and with Webster, Wright, Newnes, Ross and Hickey all playing the focus lies elsewhere.
Siposs might again spend a bit more time up forward, particularly with a more stable backline given the return of Gwilt, form of Roberton and Big Rhys set to be anchored close down there with the other big guys in. My Favourite Hair in the AFL has been having a sensational year and will need to turn it on again if the Saints are any chance. At the very least, he is a wonderful example to the younger guys coming through.
Gwilt’s inclusion adds some stability to the backline, particularly with the loss of Gilbert, but this is most likely to be moot. Mick’s Blues took a few weeks but they’re really up and running and, given their draw, are every chance of being 7-3 after Round 10. The midfield battle looks even more lopsided with the absence of Hayes; Joey’s having a great year but Dal seems a little down. Armo and Steven have stepped up again but it’s hard to go past Murphy, Judd, Robinson, Gibbs, McLean and so on.
We’ll have an awesome jumper to look at all night, anyway.