St Kilda’s first round picks Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield are good enough to play in round one according to defender Nathan Brown.
Taken with picks seven and eight respectively in last year’s AFL Draft, Clark and Coffield have impressed all at the Saints with their commitment to life as professional footballers.
Both played well in the club’s opening JLT Community Series hit-out against Carlton last week and have earned selection for Thursday’s clash with Melbourne at Casey Fields.
Brown has been impressed with what the two youngsters bring to the table and thinks they are well-placed to debut round one against Brisbane at Etihad Stadium.
“I think they’re ready,” Brown said on Wednesday.
“They’re smart, and I guess if you don’t have the body size as a young fella, it’s about composure, and I think those two have that in spades.
“I truly believe that, I think they are.”
In an otherwise disappointing night, Clark and Coffield’s performances against the Blues highlight that the Saints’ recruiting team is doing their job.
Clark oozed class across half-forward and the wings to finish with two goals while Coffield’s sound decision-making and poise were evident off half-back.
Brown affirmed that St Kilda fans have plenty to be excited about.
“I’ve worked closely with ‘Coff’ down in the backline, and I think his composure for his first hit-out against (an) AFL opponent was fantastic,” Brown said.
“And Hunter’s in tight contest (work) was fantastic, and he was able to hit the scoreboard.
“I think Saints fans are going to be excited about those two prospects.”
Brown is also looking forward to goalkickers Jack Billings and Josh Bruce playing their first competitive games of the season against the Demons, after the duo missed the game against Carlton through injury precautions.
Billings strained a hamstring in an intra-club session in February, while Bruce feautred in a VFL practice game last week in his return from minor knee surgery in December.
“It sets us up, up forward, and they’re really great contest players, so we’re really going to try and keep defenders accountable,” Brown said.
“(Jack) has been touted as having a big, breakout season, and we saw glimpses of it last year of what he can be.
“‘Brucey” was fantastic in the reserve game last week, so we’re looking forward to having him out on the park and hitting big packs.”