St Kilda call off Tomlinson pursuit

St Kilda have called off their ambitious plan to recruit talented Greater Western Sydney defender Adam Tomlinson this trade period.

The Saints were keen to lure the former No.9 draft pick back to his hometown as support for key defensive duo Jake Carlisle and Nathan Brown.

However, Tomlinson, who was one of the Giants' best players in their preliminary final loss to Richmond, has two years still to run on his contract and St Kilda list manager Ameet Bains conceded the 24-year-old would almost certainly be playing for GWS next season.

"We have had discussions as late as yesterday but I don't think anything will happen," Bains told AFL Trade Radio.

"The reality of that is Adam has wanted to come home. There appeared to be an opening there for a period where the Giants were open to thinking about that and talking about that but certainly as the season progressed, the finals played out the way they have and some of the players they've already lost, they made it clear they don't want to be losing any more players.

"We don't see that really progressing from here."

Bains said the Saints were still in discussions with other clubs regarding the potential of trading in another key defender and would turn their attention to the delisted free agency period, or their own rookie list, to find one if a trade couldn't be facilitated.

St Kilda have already indicated they might throw former Sydney and Bulldogs defender Michael Talia a lifeline this post-season.

Meanwhile, Bains intimated that the Saints were likely to hold onto picks seven and eight at this year's draft.

"We've certainly had a lot of discussions both ways about moving up the draft order, which has been our preference, but also splitting those picks so turning eight into a couple of later picks," Bains said.

"We have had a couple of serious discussions about that but I suppose given nothing has happened, we've held our nerve on that.

"Our view is it is a very strong part of the draft. That's obviously been confirmed to us by the number of clubs that have been wanting to talk about it so for us our starting position has been that it's going to take something pretty compelling to move up because the prospect of the evenness of that part of the draft as well means that at seven and eight, we're really confident of getting two young elite players through the door."

Bains was optimistic that with plenty of room in their salary cap, the Saints would lure a big-name free agent next year after missing out on the likes of Dustin Martin, Josh Kelly and Nat Fyfe this year.

"Our aim had been to bring in an elite midfielder particularly with a lot of class and polish, Josh Kelly was the obvious one that we pursued," he said.

"One of the things to point out is that that's what we really need and that's what we want to target so that type of player hasn't changed clubs during this period.

"As a result of that, we haven't wanted to do anything rash. It's a balancing act. Your fans get restless that on the surface you haven't done anything, but I think at the same time our fans would be flat if we just went and spent money and picks on guys who weren't the absolute need that we feel would elevate us to the next level."

While St Kilda now look unlikely to add any significantly experienced players to their list this post-season, Bains was confident that they could still make the finals on the back of internal improvement from their younger players in 2018.

This story St Kilda call off Tomlinson pursuit first appeared on Brisbane Times.