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Author Topic: Josh Battle to make his debut  (Read 682 times)
Bill Manspeaker
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No one's safe here, run for cover, go...

« on: July 12, 2017, 08:45:19 PM »

St Kilda will unveil a new face at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, with Year 12 student Josh Battle set to make his debut against Essendon.

After being selected with pick No. 39 in last November’s National Draft, the 18-year-old has divided his time between Linen House Centre and Haileybury College.

Battle began his first season brightly by booting five goals in St Kilda’s intra-club in February and has since played nine games at Sandringham.

St Kilda Coach Alan Richardson is confident the young mobile forward can fill the shoes left by the suspended Tim Membrey and perform a role for the Saints on Friday night.

“He started the year really well, had a bit of an interruption through injury after six or seven weeks and missed a couple of weeks of footy. But since then he has been building his game really nicely,” Richardson told on Thursday night.

“He’s been playing predominantly as a key forward, sometimes as a high forward. He’s got a good body of work and we’re confident he can come in and perform a role for us.”

With Membrey set to miss the next two weeks following his collision with Richmond defender Dylan Grimes, Battle is a like-for-like replacement in attack and will become St Kilda's second debutant for 2017, after Ben Long played his first game earlier in the year.

Battle is renowned for his elite endurance after recording a 10:07 three kilometre time-trial at last October’s Draft Combine, and for his accuracy in front of goal after converting 69 per cent of his shots in the TAC Cup last season, as well as kicking the most goals in division one of the under-18 national championships.

“Given what Tim provides our team and given we’ve come off such a strong performance, we want to keep it as like-for-like as possible,” Richardson said.

“Josh is a really strong athlete; he’s got a great combination of speed and endurance; he’s a clever football; he wins the ball well in the air; his pressure and defence has been really positive at VFL level so we’ve decided to go with him because of all of those factors.”
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This Is Straya

« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 01:27:00 PM »

He'll show everyone why he should have been a round 1 selection.
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