St Kilda has secured the services of young Hawthorn midfielder Shane Savage plus the Hawks’ first round selection (pick 17) in the 2013 NAB AFL National Draft in exchange for Saints ruckman Ben McEvoy.
Savage played 15 of Hawthorn’s 22 home and away games in 2013 for a career total of 56. He was an emergency for the club’s recent AFL Grand Final win over Fremantle.
The 22-year-old Kiwi will be a valuable addition to St Kilda’s midfield as well as becoming an ambassador of the club’s increasing presence in New Zealand, having being born in Auckland where he lived until his family moved to Australia when he was two years old.
McEvoy leaves the Saints after six years on the club’s list, during which time he played 91 games, including the 2010 AFL Grand Final replay.
Savage said he was excited about beginning a new chapter of his football career at St Kilda.
“I’m very grateful to the Saints for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to being a part of the club’s push back up the ladder,” Savage said.
“I’m happy to be joining a club with such a proud tradition and can’t wait to start the 2014 pre-season in the red, white and black.”
St Kilda coach Scott Watters said he was thrilled to welcome Savage to Linen House Centre.
“Shane is an exciting player who brings pace and penetration to our midfield. At 22 he is approaching his prime and will add another dimension to our developing midfield group, we look forward to him embarking on a long career at St Kilda,” Watters said.
The Saints coach also paid tribute to McEvoy for his service to the club over six years.
“Ben is a person of great character and someone I hold in very high regard. On a number of levels this was an extremely tough decision for our list management committee. We wish him all the best for his time at Hawthorn.”
St Kilda Head of Football Chris Pelchen said the deal put the Saints in a stronger position ahead of the 2013 NAB AFL National Draft.
“As it stands, we have now secured two first-round selections in the upcoming AFL National Draft as well as acquiring a promising young midfielder who has already served his football apprenticeship,” Pelchen said.
“Shane’s career has continued to develop since arriving at Hawthorn as a 17 year old at the end of 2008 and we look forward to the added dimension he will bring to the Saints.”