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Saints hopeful over Gilbert’s future

January 15, 2015 12:28:30 UK

St Kilda hope versatile defender Sam Gilbert can return to his best this season, and say they want to keep him beyond 2015.

Gilbert is going into the final year of his contract with the Saints, who areĀ 15.00 to finish in the top eight, and is sure to be a target when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He is an attractive prospect for clubs seeking a tall defender, but the issue is whether he can recapture full fitness this year. The 28-year-old has been sidelined for 30 games in the last two seasons with foot and knee injuries.

We’re really looking forward to Sam coming back and helping our defence. He’s a terrific leader around the club.

Danny Sexton

He is still on a modified program after undergoing an operation on his foot at the end of the 2014 campaign, but director of coaching Danny Sexton is hopeful he will be available for the round one clash with Greater Western Sydney.

Sexton said some people might have forgotten about what an influential player Gilbert was due to his run of bad luck with injuries.

“We’re really looking forward to Sam coming back and helping our defence. He’s a terrific leader around the club,” he said.

The Saints hope Gilbert, who has been with the club since 2006 during which time he has played 146 games, sees a future at the club beyond this year.

Sexton added: “We’re not going to want good players to leave the club and he’s a good player for us and has been over a long period of time.

“We just hope he can make a contribution this year, we hope he enjoys his time at the Saints, and we hope he can continue to help the young guys improve.”

St Kilda are 1.75 to suffer most losses in 2015.

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