‘Geography doesn‘t play a major role’: Saints respond to legend’s draft criticism of local star snub

It’s the age old draft dilemma for some AFL clubs: do you take the best player available or the homegrown talent?

And St Kilda has come out and defended its selection of South Australian prospect Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera over local star Josh Sinn following criticism from Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy.

The Saints used Pick 11 on Wanganen-Milera on Wednesday night, where Port Adelaide then followed by snapping up Sinn, who captained the Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro, with the 12th selection.

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And while noting he hasn’t seen either young gun play, Healy was taken back by the Saints’ decision.

“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 posed on 3AW’s Sportsday.

“The draft has been littered historically with captains being overlooked and invariably returning to embarrass those who have ignored them.”

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But St Kilda was steadfast that it would draft players on their merits and not based on what part of the country they lived in.

“He wasn‘t too far away Josh (Sinn). But geography doesn’t play a major role in our recruiting,” St Kilda list manager James Gallagher told Code Sports. “We think we’ve got a club that people want to stay at.”

Healy pointed to the likes of Touk Miller, Jack Graham, Luke Parker and Rory Sloane as examples of players who captained their sides at junior and representative level, only to slide in drafts and go on to become stars.

And while not knocking Wanganeen-Milera’s abilities, Healy didn’t think taking him over Sinn was worth the potential go-home risks that come with drafting an interstate prospect.

“Both of them, I’m sure, are terrific young players,” he added.

“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.”

Soruce: https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/draft/afl-draft-2021-gerard-healy-questions-st-kilda-saints-nasiah-wanganeenmilera-pick-taken-over-josh-sinn/news-story/6bf3c95e115d8185d84f6b918ac5f755

By Malvi

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