Saints offer support to Ball, Hudghton - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints offer support to Ball, Hudghton

By Roger Vaughan 01/09/2009 05:36:37 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda are rallying around Luke Ball and Max Hudghton as the pair try to break back into the senior side for the AFL finals.

Ball and Hudghton were dropped after the round-20 loss to Essendon, while Ball was also left out for three weeks from round 16.

They have long been in the Saints' best 22, but Hudghton has only managed seven AFL games this year after the key defender suffered a pre-season calf muscle injury.

Hudghton has also suffered a slight hamstring scare while playing in the VFL.

Ball has played 17 matches but the midfielder has struggled for form in the seniors towards the end of the regular season.

"We're a pretty tight playing group and those two guys are really respected around the place," said teammate Lenny Hayes.

"It's tough, we haven't had a lot of injuries this year and they've found themselves out of the side - there's been great competition for spots.

"We support them fully and talk to them a lot, they know they have to improve in a couple of areas and it's going to be really tight, come selection this week.

"They haven't put a foot wrong over the last four weeks, we know if they do come into the side, they'll be ready to go."

Hayes said Ball had impressed with his attitude while playing in the reserves.

"Obviously it hasn't been an easy time for him, but ... he's been down to Sandringham, he's played some really good football there, he's an ultimate professional," Hayes said.

"It's also a match committee thing and it comes down to match-ups and things like that.

"It's really hard to comment this far out from the game ... we really have to wait until later in the week to see where they (Ball and Hudghton) are at and where a few other guys are at with little niggles and things like that."

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