St Kilda F.C. were founded in 1873 and one of the four clubs still competing in the AFL today who played in the inaugural season of both the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1877, and then the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1897. For a club with such a long history in Australia’s premier Aussie Rules competition, the Saints have unfortunately been the biggest underperformers, setting an unwanted record for most wooden spoons (27).
Thankfully for Saints’ supporters, their team has managed to win one premiership. This occurred in the 1966 VFL season, where after finishing second in the regular season, St Kilda defeated Collingwood by 1 point in the Grand Final.
However, this is where the joy ended for the Saints, with the 2009 and 2010 seasons being a particularly hard pill to swallow. In 2009, St Kilda were dominant, winning the first 19 games of the season on their way to the minor premiership. But in the big dance against Geelong, the Saints lost by an agonizing 12 points.
But that was nothing compared with 2010, where St Kilda faced Collingwood in their second grand final in two years. Hoping to replicate their 1966 victory over the Pies, St Kilda missed a late gilt-edged opportunity to kick the winning goal, and the match ended to stunned silence in a draw. With no extra time, a match replay was rescheduled for the following week, meaning that the Saints would now play their third grand final in two years. However, this proved to be one grand final too many for the hapless Saints, who were thrashed by 56 points.
With the retirement of St Kilda’s favourite son Nick Riewoldt at the end of the 2017 season, it is up to the Saints’ younger generation of players to stand up. They are charged with bringing desperately-needed success to the club.