This didn’t look good for Ben Long.
Trade period recruit Bradley Hill is a surprise inclusion in a revamped St Kilda leadership group for the 2020 AFL season.
Boom recruit Bradley Hill has been immediately elevated into St Kilda’s leadership group for the 2020 AFL season.
The former Fremantle and Hawthorn wingman will serve as part of a six-man group to be led by Jarryn Geary, who was named captain for a fourth consecutive year.
Seb Ross will continue as vice-captain while Tim Membrey, Dylan Roberton and Jack Billings are also in the group that was voted in by the players, coaches and football staff.
Hill’s surprise appointment to a leadership role comes after he was dumped from a similar position by Fremantle after an off-field incident with police in May 2018.
Hill, then 24, was removed from the Dockers’ leadership group, suspended for one AFL game and fined $5000, with an additional $5000 suspended.
He was also reprimanded by the club for consuming alcohol while injured.
“I was disappointed with what happened over there and I’ve matured a lot since then and I learnt a lot from that,” Hill said on Wednesday.
“It’s been a couple of years now, so I’m getting older and a little bit wiser.
“I’ve only been here for a few months but it’s great to be a part of the leadership group.
“I just want to help out as much as I can, especially with the younger players coming through.”
Saints coach Brett Ratten said the 26-year-old had won the club over since arriving as one of five big-name recruits during last October’s trade period.
“Hill’s selection demonstrates the impact he has made on the group in a short time and is a reflection of how hard he has worked to gain his teammates’ trust and respect,” Ratten said.
Roberton was included despite being limited to just four games in the past two seasons because of ongoing health concerns surrounding a heart condition.
Ratten said the leadership group reflected the team’s chosen values.
“It was clear through the process we went through that these six guys were regarded as the drivers of the standards we are trying to reach,” he said.
St Kilda will take on Hawthorn in their opening AFL pre-season series match on Thursday night at Moorabbin.