St.Kilda is prepared to pursue West Coast running machine Andrew Gaff as it plans to launch an attack on the AFL’s free agency and trade period.
Football manager Simon Lethlean has confirmed the club’s interest in the Eagles’ sought after free agent.
“I think every Victorian club has enquired about Gaff. We’ve been on record saying we’re going to be as aggressive as we can in the trade and free agency markets,” Lethlean said on the Saints’ podcast.
“We’re certainly interested in all good players that can come and add to the St Kilda on-field and off-field standards and Gaff’s certainly a great player.
“We’d be interested in talking to him.”
Gaff has reportedly garnered interest from a numbers of Victorian clubs, including North Melbourne, with a estimated figure of 1.2 million per year for his services.
The Saints also re-signed veteran defender Nathan Brown for a 13th AFL season and extended the contract of emerging youngster Ed Phillips for two more seasons.
Brown, 29, has been a vital member of the Saints’ defensive structure alongside Jake Carlisle since joining the club, with Lethlean detailing how important and underrated Brown has been since coming over from Collingwood.
The only AFL premiership player on St.Kilda’s list, the former Magpie finished his 2017 campaign on a high, placing within the top 10 in the Saints’ Trevor Barker Medal last season. The defender was greatly missed for five games this year with knee and hamstring concerns.
“You know what you are going to get with Nathan Brown every single week,” Lethlean said. “He regularly plays on the opposition’s best forward and has set a high standard of consistency since joining the Saints at the end of 2016.”
Phillips, 20, has been rewarded for his form on the season, having averaged toward 20 disposals from just the seven games this year.
The brother of Magpie Tom Phillips, the Saints are optimistic Ed can up his game to a new level, fitting with running capacity.
“I’m rapt to be signed on for a further two years,” Phillips said.
“We have a really strong bond with the young guys coming through together and I’m excited for what the future holds.”