When St Kilda defeated Melbourne this past Saturday, something happened which hadn’t been seen since 2010: the Saints found themselves on top of the AFL ladder.
St Kilda have signed Sydney vice-captain Dan Hannebery on a five-year deal, completing the AFL trade before Wednesday’s deadline.
The Saints exchanged pick No.39 and their second-round selection in the 2019 draft to acquire Hannebery and pick No.28.
St Kilda also completed a deal to recruit Melbourne’s Dean Kent, offloading their fourth-round selection (pick No.65).
Demon midfielder Dom Tyson’s move to North Melbourne has also been rubber stamped.
The Kangaroos swapped Brayden Preuss and Pick No.62 for Tyson.
The Hannebery deal has freed up significant salary-cap space at the SCG, where the star was contracted until 2021 and understood to be earning approximately $800,000 a season.
Hannebery’s form was patchy this season during which he dealt with several injury setbacks.
The 27-year-old admitted last month he’d been “pretty sore and banged up” at times over the past two seasons but is now “feeling great”.
The 2012 premiership winner was among the league’s best on-ballers in his prime, as evidence by the fact he is a three-time All Australian.
“He is a respected leader and someone with a lot of finals experience, which will be invaluable for our young group on and off the field,” Saints football manager Simon Lethlean said.
Hannebery, who was drafted in 2008 and famously made his AFL debut while still completing Year 12 in Melbourne, has played 22 finals in a 208-game career.
“I loved my time at the Swans and will be forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences I had there,” Hannebery said.
“I moved to Sydney when I was 17 and now, 10 years later, it’s the perfect time for me to come back to my family in Melbourne.”