Saints retain Knobel, Blake - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints retain Knobel, Blake

By Chris Lines 29/10/2004 05:32:24 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda has bought itself an extra fortnight to convince Trent Knobel and Jason Blake to stay, but those players' bargaining position has been weakened by the appearance of another ruckman on the market.

The 16 AFL clubs submitted their initial pre-draft player lists, with a further two weeks until the final pre-draft list had to be lodged.

The Saints list retained Knobel and Blake, who are both out of contract and reportedly dissatisfied with the terms of proposed new contracts and prepared to put themselves into the draft.

St Kilda was facing difficulty finding room under the salary cap to retain the pair after signing big-money deals with some of its banner players.

Their retention on the lodged list meant St Kilda now had two weeks to convince one or the other to stay.

If not, the very thin St Kilda ruck stocks could be bolstered by the drafting of Mark Porter, who was cut by the Kangaroos.

Porter, 28, played 15 games with the Kangaroos in 2004 and 110 over a career that began at Carlton.

The arrival of Nathan Thompson from Hawthorn, joining Corey McKernan and youngsters David Hale and Hamish McIntosh, left Porter surplus to requirements at Arden St.

Porter, or other delisted ruckmen such as Steven McKee and Cain Ackland could be options to bolster a Saints ruck division that would otherwise rely upon raw youngster Barry Brooks and the injury-prone Justin Koschitzke in 2005.

St Kilda promoted 196cm pair Dylan Pfitzner and Nick Stone from the rookie list, but they would at best be fallback options for ruck.

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