Saints hopeful on Dawson
St Kilda remains hopeful of keeping defender Zac Dawson, despite reports he is headed for Fremantle.
Dawson is yet to re-sign with the Saints and is understood to be pursued by former St Kilda coach Ross Lyon, who left the Saints in September to coach Fremantle.
The 25-year-old, along with Farren Ray, Brett Peake and Raphael Clarke, is yet to commit to the Saints for 2012 but St Kilda chief executive Michael Nettlefold said the club was confident of keeping him.
“I think we’re in good shape, we’ve done a lot of work and we’re where we need to be. We’re very confident we will have all the people we want to sign,” Nettlefold said on Tuesday morning at the filming of the club’s membership advertisement.
“We’ll have all the players signed up that we want to have signed up.”
New coach Scott Watters has spoken to all out-of-contract players and said they were in his plans for next season.
“At the end of the day it takes two parties to work through an agreement and we’ve been committed to all of them,” Watters said.
“We’ll still let time play out to see how that all unfolds and how it all finishes. We’d still like them to be part of the club.”
The second AFL list lodgment is due on November 16.
The Saints are also set to make more appointments to their new-look football department.
Lyon and assistants Peter Berbakov, Robert Harvey and Steven King have left the club since the end of the 2011 season. Strength and conditioning coach David Misson also left for Melbourne.
Former North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley and fitness advisor Peter Burge have since joined the Saints, while former Adelaide and Geelong coach Gary Ayres is also linked to a role with the club.
“We’re pretty close to making all the appointments we need to make. We’ll be making another appointment for the director of our academy,” Nettlefold said.
“We’ve started a new academy program that will see a big focus on our talent pathways, a lot of talent in our young athletes. That is going to be a big focus on the St Kilda Football Club as we head into the next two, three, four years.”
Former Hawthorn forward Beau Dowler could be another St Kilda recruit after he commenced pre-season training with the Saints on Monday.
Watters said Dowler was a chance to get a spot on the Saints’ list at the coming NAB AFL Draft or NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
“If you’re training, you’ve got an opportunity so you don’t hand out charity opportunities to players,” Watters said.
“He’s training with the group, he’s got a chance to impress, he was really energetic and keen yesterday. He’s on the list and he’s in with a chance.”