AFL 1997 – Twenty Years On: St Kilda Saints (2nd)

The high-scoring Saints topped the table after the home-and-away season by a couple of % points. They supplied the Brownlow winner Robert Harvey and generated lots of goals from Heatley, Loewe and Everitt.

Finals looked unlikely when they had only one win after Round 5, but Stan Alves kicked them into gear and they only lost three more games.

In fact, they entered the Grand Final on a nine-game winning streak after dispensing with Brisbane at Waverley and North at the MCG (on a Friday night, no less) in their first two finals.

The rest was misery history.

But the Saints had plenty of characters as always. Some are still around at the top end of the AFL, others haven’t been as fortunate.

Sainters, give us your thoughts on 1997 and the list that just missed.


List Management

AFL Debuts 1997: Brad Campbell, Max Hudghton, Andrew Thompson

Players Kept Under Wraps 1997: Dean Anderson, Jamie Elliott, Timothy Elliott, Lucas Fleming, Ryan Grinter, Chris Hemley, Brett Knowles, Andrew Lamb

Never Heard of Him: Brad Campbell

Delistings/Retirements end 1997: Jamie Shanahan, Joel Smith, Lazar Vidovic


You can review all of the AFL 1997 lists here

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Dennis Gedling says

    Jason Cripps isn’t one of the Northampton Cripps? I know he’s a list manager for Port. Tremendous team. Heatley wiped the floor with everyone (except Paul Mifka) in the WAFL before going to the Eagles then St Kilda. Diamond valley boy.

  2. The third name from the top is an interesting one. Many years later,, actually less than 20, he coached an AFL premiership team.

    He’s one of 3 names on the list who has been involved in an AFL premiership.


  3. Sean Curtain says

    No photo but Dean Anderson’s son has just won the Kevin Sheehan medal as best player at the national U17 champs playing for Vic Metro and is touted as a top 5 draft pick already for the 2019 draft. A year 10 at Carey, last weekend he helped his old man as Coach win yet another junior GF last weekend, for Boroondara Hawks vs St Mary’s in the Colts div 1 of the Yarra league.

    However, he can”t go Father-son at either St Kilda or Hawthorn, stay tuned


  4. Of course, Shane and Darryl Wakelin are twins with different birthdays- one born just prior to midnight and the other just after.

    Love Shane’s work at the beginning of Greg! The Stop Sign!! by TISM. Also note the motivational “Your (sic) a professional Keep it simple” on the wall of the gym in the video-clip.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Mickey, recognise Justin Peckett and S.Wakelin from the start of the clip, but who is the player in the middle? Always happy to see TISM get a mention.

    Swish, do you remember the Lazar Vidovic song on the Coodabeens? May have been from a few years before 1997.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    And hadn’t realised Barry Hall had played so few games before playing in that ’97 GF.

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Used to see J Shanahan shuffling around Coles Bentleigh post ’97. He did OK when he went to the Dees.

    There have been a succession of cars in my ‘hood with the number plate HEATR – I think it is J Heatley. Was pointed out to me that he came over from WCE with 8 goals, so he did very well in ’97.

  8. On Robbie Neill arriving at the parade in 98 when I met him him obviously the subject of Bob Neil quickly came up he said when he was playing for the swans he sees a Bob Neil banner and thinks geez his mates can’t even spell his name properly he was then told the true story by a Sydney Uni mate I also gave him a Bob Neil songbook which he still has and been known to have the odd sing a long.I was with him on Saturday one of the great blokes involved in footy and yes I still call him not the real,Bob Neil thanks Swish for all of these

  9. Mick Jeffrey says

    That bloke wearing #27 who only appeared sparingly hasn’t changed a bit….

  10. Mick Jeffrey says

    Mind you if you told me 20 years later that Spida Everitt would run a marathon you’d be kidding yourself. Yet he did so on the Gold Coast this year. Seemed pretty determined to make it at a controlled pace (about 4:20, good time for a beginner) when I did a hammy and walked/limped home. Went about it very professionally taking the drinks on board and sticking with his crew.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I almost went with the Bob Neil reference ‘Book.

    Thanks Mick, Blight is the only Brownlow winner/ Flag coach in my lifetime, the flag coaches tend to be a different type of player, not telling you anything new there.

  12. Luke Reynolds: in the video it’s Chris Hemley in the middle, then Josh Kitchen hitting the punching bag.

    Glen: “3 names on the list who has been involved in an AFL premiership” – a couple more, I think. Ando won two, Bevo won one as coach, Barry Hall went on to captain one, Darryl Wakelin won one at Port, Maxy was assistant coach at Collingwood for the flag in 2010. I think that’s all?

  13. Ta Dave. I totally forgot Dean Anderson. Max Hughton was at Vic Park in 2010: i didn’t know that .


Leave a Comment