St Kilda’s decision to recall injured veteran Dan Hanbury has raised the eyebrows of two club greats, with Nick Riewoldt saying the timing is “a bit confusing”.
Hanbury, who is set to complete a four-year contract worth around $800,000 per season – his contract has been reduced this year – has been named to play his first senior game for the club this season in a must-win game. After an impressive two weeks in the VFL on Saturday against Hawthorn.
The 31-year-old has not featured at AFL level since round 23 last season and has played just 15 senior games in four seasons due to a number of injury problems.
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Speaking on Fox Football AFL 360 Plus, Riewoldt praised Hanbury for his return to senior football, but questioned the selection from St Kilda’s point of view, looking at a number of young players.
“First of all, well done to Dan Hanbury coming back because he’s a very lonely place (back from injury). I’ve been down to Moorabbin at RSEA Park a couple of times and I’ve seen him run alone in the rain.
But when you’ve got rookies like Mitch Owens and Ryan Byrnes, some of these guys waiting in the wings who aren’t playing at this year’s level, it’s a little confusing when you think about building for the future. “
Saints Ledge Montagna has also been brought into the side by Hanbury, and he and Riewelt and Montagna have agreed that the midfielder will not be offered a new contract at the club.
“I wonder… to bring him back after two VFL games – I know he’s been in great shape – but I’m with Roe[Riewoldt]do you have the big picture in mind?” A double All-Australian rose.
Owens played 24 games and kicked two goals in the VFL last week, (he) made 10 tackles in the second (AFL) game, which St Kilda are after, that’s a forward push.
“I’m just wondering what the thought process was to get him back. Do you think he can add significantly to this team this season?
“It will be interesting to see how he goes, but I agree, it’s a huge credit to him to get himself in this position.”
After making his debut for Sydney in 2009, Hanbury has played 223 AFL games since moving to the Saints at the end of 2018.