Former St Kilda star Nick Dal Santo has revealed the three players he believes will have a huge part to play in their side’s fortunes during the upcoming finals series.
Dal Santo has circled Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver, Hawthorn’s Ben McEvoy and Collingwood’s Jordan De Goey as players who could have a big say in September.
Oliver has had a fantastic year in the heart of the Melbourne midfield, and Dal Santo believes his performance in September will help him elevate his game to another level.
“The thing that I like about Clayton Oliver (is he) wins contested football,” he told SEN Afternoons.
“We all know for whatever reason the game slightly changes in September, it’s more of a contested, one-on-one battle, a lot more emphasis is put on winning your own football.
“I think Clayton Oliver will walk out of finals, how many games that is I’m not quite sure just yet, but we will appreciate the work he does as an inside, hard-nosed midfielder for the Dees.”
Dal Santo also spoke about just how important McEvoy could be to Hawthorn’s chances, suggesting the finals could be his time to shine and rise up alongside Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy.
“The reason I like Benny is because he is multi-faceted,” Dal Santo added.
“We obviously know about his tap-work, his endurance is exceptional and he also does a lot of work around the ground.
“I think Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn should both make the All-Australian team, one as the starting ruckman, one as the bench.
“I think they’ve shadowed people like Ben McEvoy. I reckon September is Ben’s time.”
Finally, Dal Santo touched on just how big September could be for the Collingwood forward.
“We know he can get the job done, we know the pressure, speculation and talk about him as an individual and where he is going to play his football has not fazed him…so why should September?” Dal Santo said.
“It’s a team sport, you spread out a little bit more (in finals), but what I like about De Goey and where I think he can have a significant impact, is he will get one-on-ones.
“Nothing seems to faze De Goey.”