St Kilda have defended their opening-round draft selection of South Australia’s Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera over local Josh Sinn, following criticism from Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy.
The Saints selected Wanganen-Milera with pick 11, before Port Adelaide snatched Sinn with pick 12.
It prompted Healy to draw attention to the ‘go-home risks’ that come with drafting players from interstate.
“Why would you take a wingman from interstate with all the issues associated with it when you have a kid in your own heartland?” Healy said on 3AW.
Sinn captained the Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro, adding to the pattern of players who have shown excellent leadership and talent, only to slip down the order of the draft.
“The draft has been littered historically with captains being overlooked and invariably returning to embarrass those who have ignored them,” Healy said.
But St Kilda list manager James Gallagher has hit back in an interview with Code Sports, saying “geography doesn’t play a major role in our recruiting”.
“We think we’ve got a club that people want to stay at,” Gallagher said.
Despite having not seen either player in action, Healy was skeptical of whether the Saints had made the right decision.
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“Both of them, I’m sure, are terrific young players,” Healy said.
“But it doesn’t seem to me that there is enough between them to create all the issues associated with relocation as opposed to sending a bike to the end of South Road.”
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