Saints eye North ruckman after failing to trade for his teammate: Free Agent Whispers

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Saints eye North ruckman after failing to trade for his teammate: Free Agent Whispers

After failing to trade for one North Melbourne ruckman, St Kilda is reportedly eyeing another.

Plus an Essendon defender who featured in the finals says he’s keen to play on.

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SAINTS EYE ROOS RUCK AFTER STRIKING OUT ON TEAMMATE

St Kilda has interest in signing ex-North Melbourne ruckman Tom Campbell as a delisted free agent, reports AFL Media’s Riley Beveridge.

The Saints tried to make a move for young Kangaroos ruck Tristan Xerri during the trade period, and Xerri officially asked for a trade, planning to sign on a two-year deal.

But North Melbourne wanted a future second-round pick for the 12-gamer and only willing to pay a future third, St Kilda baulked and the deal failed to eventuate. That saw Xerri remain at Arden Street and Campbell let go.

Now the Saints are interested in Campbell to back up Rowan Marshall and Paddy Ryder, with Shaun McKernan retired, young Sam Alabakis delisted, Paul Hunter uncontracted and mid-season draftee Max Heath still in year 12.

The 201cm ruckman joined North Melbourne in the 2019 pre-season supplemental selection period, playing 12 games in three seasons, after 42 games from 2012-17 at the Western Bulldogs.

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DON KEEN TO PLAY ON

Small defender Marty Gleeson says he wants to find a second AFL home after being delisted by Essendon last week.

Gleeson featured in the Bombers’ elimination final loss to the Western Bulldogs, with Nick Hind unavailable due to Covid exposure, and played 97 games across eight years before being told he wouldn’t be getting a contract for 2022.

“I’ve been in pretty constant dialogue with ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten) throughout the year and I was aware where I was sitting in the pecking order and my role within the team,” Gleeson said on SEN Afternoons.

“Throughout the year, I was in and out of the team a little bit.

“We had a few talks about what next year looks like, I knew throughout the year and towards the end of the year that it’s going to be touch and go. That was the same message I got at my exit meetings.

“About a week ago, I got the call from Adrian (Dodoro) and Truck to come in and have a bit of a chat. They told me that they weren’t going to offer me a contract for next year. Until you hear those words come out of their mouth, it doesn’t quite feel real, but now I’ve had a bit of time to digest it.

“It’s all part of the journey.”

The 27-year-old has interest in joining a new club.

“That desire to be on an AFL list is still there,” he said.

“I still feel like I’ve got a lot more to give if the opportunity came my way.

“I think towards the end of this year, that fire kept burning more, getting back into the team and playing some footy, especially playing in that final, that’s what we’re here for.

“That fire is still there.”

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