St Kilda Season Review: Great team works and thanks to Rooey

The mighty Saints finished ninth in the 2016 season with 12 wins that was higher than expected.


Boys showed attacking footy on the field scoring goals and goals. Having close games against two top eight clubs and wins over two top eight teams were reflected on attacking footy.


As briefed in the Round 23 match report, we had wonderful ball work in the midfield that helped scoring goals in the goal square.


Ruckman Tom Hickey has done brilliant works hitting out balls at the centre field to hand over balls to midfielders. He is the start of our attacking footy. At the last two games, he was absent and James Holmes filled in well.


Jack Steven, Jack Newnes, Seb Ross, David Armitage, Leigh Montagna, Luke Dunstan and Marverick Weller handballed and kicked each other to deliver balls towards the goal square. Collecting balls well from hit outs created by Hickey and using space well to do great ball works were impressing.


Nick Riewoldt ran much to cover both midfield and forward line. His marks were brilliant to deliver balls towards forward line and to kick goals by himself.


Our forwards Tim Membrey, Paddy McCartin and Josh Bruce have done great attacking footy kicking goals. Straight lines and from boundary lines.


But midfielders kick goals too to win games. Steven’s goals were admired. His skills in kicks were from talents.


And our back lines should not be forgotten. Jarryn Geary and Dylan Roberton tackled and collected balls, and passed towards midfield. Without them, attacking footy doesn’t affect much.


On Thursday, club’s Best and Fairest was held. At the occasion, Nick Riewoldt officially announced that he would not captain the team any more. I wish I could see him breaking the most games to play as a skipper, but I respect his decision and appreciate him for leading the club for 11 seasons.


Nick is smart, encouraging and loyal. His positive attitudes suit to be a top Saint. Under Grant Thomas, he established loyalty to the club and taught young players to be strong and have faith. I believe the next captain keeps his attitudes and spirits.


Tim Membrey had a break out year scoring goals. He becomes a reliable forward and is the key player for attacking footy. And his marks in the goal square are so brave. The 2016 Best Emerging Player Award was for him. I like his great performances and congratulate him on the award.


Sam Gilbert showed his multitasking skills on field as well as his humanity off field. I hadn’t known about his attitudes off field, but was impressed with what he has done through his Robert Harvey Clubman Award. His good role for the Pride Match (Round 21 vs Swans), helping player welfare manager when he was hospitalised and good relationships with players are reasons to be honoured. And his play roles in the midfield when we didn’t have enough key midfielders and then back to the back line were additional to the award. Well done Sam!


The third place for the Trevor Baker Award was taken by Rooey. His masterpiece is honoured well. Switching his position didn’t affect negatively. Numbers of goals was reduced, but he took marks more to help forwards. And his great leadership skills were to be awarded.


Our important back player, Geary has got double awards – The Best and Fairest runner up and Lenny Hayes Trademark Award. Hayes was the player who prepared well before games and seasons. His such good attitudes were what I have learned through his book Lenny: With All My Heart. Geary prepares well during the week and performs well on the footy field. Getting two awards are reflected of his hardworking.


The top award was given to Jack Steven. He has been awarded Trevor Baker Award two years in a row and it’s his third award. His collecting balls, kicking, bouncing, handballs and scoring goals are brilliant. He deserved what he gets. He kicks goals by himself but also he is a team player. And he led the club well while Rooey was absent in Round 12. Well done Jackie Steven!!


To the bright 2017, we have strategies. But as we are improving well this year, I believe we will achieve.


We need to swiftly tighten defense line to score goals. Top teams such as Geelong, Hawthorn, Sydney and North have good balances between attacking and defense. Tricking them in our forward lines and deploying small players (Jack Lonie and Jafe Gresham) to break defense line would be good.


And interstate games need to be improved. In my opinion, boot camps will help. We had such training to gain leadership skills for young players. And such training would help overcoming pressures on interstate games, I reckon.


I praise my boys for the season and advise them to relax before they go back for training. See you next year boys and I will be at the stadium sometime in 2017 to see the mighty Saints in action.

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. Guru Gus - Singapore says

    Saw the Saints live in Round 23 against the Lions – lots to look forward to in 2017!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Gus! Good on you having watched the Round 23 game. Yes we look forward to the next season. Go Saints! – Yoshi

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