About St Kilda’s Trades and My Hope to the Future for the Saints

Just before becoming more passionate St Kilda fan in the end of 2012, Brendon Goddard crossed to Essendon as a free agent, and Nick Dal Santo left St Kilda also as a free agent in the end of 2013 to North Melbourne. Also St Kilda traded a young ruck man Ben McEvoy who had been thought to be a captain in the future to Hawthorn in the end of last year, and this month Rhys Stanley to Geelong.

I was shocked with two trades because they are tall and young so they have long way to play for St Kilda. McEvoy is good for a ruckman and I am impressed with how Stanley played at my favourite Round 18 Game against Fremantle.

In July this year, former St Kilda coach Scott Watters had an exclusive interview with Channel 9’s Sunday Footy Show. Watters revealed that he had no responsibility to negotiate with Goddard or Dal Santo to stay at St Kilda or leave, or to make a decision on McEvoy.

Instead Chris Pelchen, former head of Football Department who resigned the club on Tuesday had all responsibilities to deal with these players and let Goddard, Dal Santo and McEvoy to go.

When I heard about communication issues and fall out between Watters and Pelchen last year, I had strong thought that Pelchen wanted someone (a coach) who just listened to him.

Recently I found articles on afl.com.au relevant to Pelchen when I was searching sources for my second article for Footy Almanac. One of them paid attention to me.

The article is information of what Pelchen has done at the footy industry including for other AFL clubs. As a junior recruiter at Hawthorn, Pelchen warned the club board that the great era would not last for years that were ignored.

Then he gained more experience in the footy industry at Port Adelaide and back at Hawthorn and worked with succeeded football people including three-time Premiership coach Alastair Clarkson. Pelchen had successful career at these two clubs and joined St Kilda in 2011.

Nowadays clubs try to hire experienced and succeed people to widen an opportunity to win a premiership. Coaches are those of them. Former coach Ross Lyon was an assistant coach at Sydney Swans in 2005 when the Swan won the flag as well as was Watters at Collingwood in 2010.

However I have to point out that Pelchen made mistakes on managing play list at St Kilda. Sadly his success at Hawthorn including using analytics to project how many A, B, C-rated players the Hawks would need to win a premiership seemed not deliver to St Kilda. I believe that he could have kept Goddard, Dal Santo, McEvoy and Stanley at St Kilda if Pelchen used such analysing skills.

On the other hand, Pelchen was the one of the main people at St Kilda convincing to host games in Wellington. It is a good decision that I admire (and it made me to support St KIlda) and I reckon he reinformed the idea to play in Wellington from the past experience at Hawthorn. I have heard that St Kilda would take Carlton to an Anzac Day clash in Wellington next year. It will be a great game for us. I will write another article soon showing how much I am excited to see the big game in my favourite Wellington.

Oh well. We cannot bring the past back. I hope the St Kilda don’t make mistakes any more on selecting players to rebuild the club. We are a club with young play list at this stage and need to develop young players. But years later when these blokes are experienced players, the club should keep them not only to perform well but also to mentor younger players. Meanwhile the club needs to encourage young players to keep faith and loyalty.

The big boss who set the strategy to win the flag by 2020 has gone, but other staff including incoming people as well as players and coaches will work hard to achieve, I do hope as a Saint fan. All I want to see is bright future and Saints going marching in.


About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi again Yoshi,
    I think they let Stanley and McEvoy go because they want all our players to be in their early 20’s and grow up together, and improve together. McEvoy will peak in the next few years, and Stanley also, but the others will take 3-4 years and hopefully the whole team will rise to the top, like the team of 2009/2010 BUT with a Premiership this time.

    If you look at who they kept, it is people like Riewoldt and Montagna and Ray who are very experienced and who we know will retired in the next 2-3 years, but they are there now to teach and help the young players like Harvey and Loewe etc were in the early 2000’s. St.Kilda has kept these very good, experienced players and let some others who were less consistent go. Lenny was very clear that his role in the last few years was to develop the next group of players to take over, and when he gave his No 7 to Luke Dunstan, it was because he is predicted to be an elite midfielder.

    We just have to wait and see.

    Go Saints


  2. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks for your comment and expressing your point of view. Seeing what happened with now veteran players when they were young is good. They are good leaders of the Saints and I wish young players will keep veterans’ spirits for the future and will play the Grand Final. Indeed the next time, we will win the flag.

    Meanwhile, we need to be patient, I agree with you.

    Go the Saints!


  3. Yoshi – thanks for your Saints insight.

    In the era of free agents, we really didn’t have a lot of choice around Dal and BJ. Sad to see these champs move on, but that is the way of the AFL now – look at Beams, Ryder etc in recent weeks.

    I think time will tell on the McEvoy and Rhys trades. We got Dunstan who will be a gun as you say by means of Ben leaving. I was sorry to see Rhys go, and he was brilliant in the Freo game, but that was one game out of 58 he has played. He is a bit of a highlights reel sort of guy.

    I do think the Hawthorn comparisons circa 2004 are valid. Patience and discipline will pay off for the Saints.

  4. hi Yoshi

    I just found you are saints Supporter and really admire that .

    My gut feeling is 2017-2020 will belongs to us

  5. Hi Guru Gus and PrazAU,

    Thanks for your comments and positive thinking about the Saints :)

    Guru Gus, your point of view is understandable. BJ says that players have the right to choose which club to play for. It’s important. But I agree with Carlton coach Mick Malthouse that free agent is disadvantage for some clubs.

    I admit that I missed your point about Dunstan. Hawthorn is now powerhouse and I hope that the Saints will be a strong club by 2018 at least. We need to parient for a while.

    PrazAU, thanks for your compliment on being a St Kilda fan :) Yes, we will be the strong side in three to four years. Let’s keep loyalty to mighty Saints!

  6. Funny how someone in Japan can see what is happening compared to some who actually run clubs. As a passionate saints supporter for over 50 years, there are some things that rile me, others that amuse me and still others I find downright ludicrous, but being outside the inner sanctum I do not profess to know why some things happen. Hopefully I will still be a passionate saints supporter for another 50 (doubtful) years and will see success arrive. If not my daughter and grandson will carry on the tradition, and it was their choice not mine. So Yoshi, welcome, to a club that sees a lot of heartbreak, but also sees a lot of hope, strength, and a great love of this magnificent football club. May you enjoy many years of the ups and downs as I have.

  7. Hi saint66,

    Thank you for your warm welcoming to the Saints and compliment on what I have been doing. After the 2013 season, I was so curious about rumours around our club and indeed kept up with news. Then Scott Watters was sacked. I was shocked to hear that news because I learned that Watters was warm and welcomed to young players that was opposed to Ross Lyon. Then I wondered what had been happening to St Kilda Football Club. I agree with you that all footy fans must face up and down sides, not matter who we barrack for. I accept the fact, but do have a big hope that the second flag is delivering to the Saints soon. I admire you for being loyal to the Saints for 50 years and as I have been saying, I’m very glad to see passionate St Kilda fans.

    Cheers and Go the Saints!


  8. George LILLEY says

    wow great analysis Yoshi. I enjoy your articles.

  9. Hi George, thanks for reading my articles and compliment on my analysis. Great readers’ encouragements bring me motivation to writing articles :)


  10. Keiran Croker says

    Hi Yoshi,
    I’m a Sydney Swans supporter, however I am always impressed when someone finds our great game and becomes a passionate supporter. May your Saints give you many years of joy. I hope they rise up the ladder soon, however I fear their recent trade decisions have set them back a few years.
    Good luck.

  11. Hi Keiran,

    Thanks for your comment and I’m glad that we can share our thoughts and passions of footy on this great community website. It’s sad that your beloved Swans missed the flag this year… But the Swans are doing well, I admire. Thanks for your hope on the Saints and yes, recent trades set the clock back to rebuild. However I hope young players reinforce strong culture and loyalty to rebuild the club. Our veteran players Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna and retired Lenny Hayes have gone thorough tough paths and climbed up to the great position in 2009-10, but couldn’t win a flag. I hope Riewoldt and Montagna teach young blokes how to be strong before they retire and then young blokes form great leaderships.

    Enjoy your footy mate.


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