Bytel locked in

Promising midfielder Jack Bytel has re-committed to the Saints for a further two years after signing a contract extension this week.

The new deal will see the former Calder Cannons skipper in red, white and black until at least the end of 2022.

Once touted as a Top 10 pick in the 2018 ‘Super Draft’, Bytel’s draft year was derailed by a back injury which saw him slide to pick No. 41 when the Saints swooped.

A lengthy rehabilitation followed, before a string of eye-catching displays at Reserves level saw the talented youngster break through for his long-awaited AFL debut in Round 11 this year.

Head of List Management James Gallagher said Bytel’s was an important signature as the club looks to consolidate its midfield depth.

“We brought Jack to the Saints knowing that he had some significant steps ahead of him in order to get his body right for the rigours of life in the AFL.  We were always prepared to be patient with Jack, as we know that his elite attributes such as his clean hands and outstanding football brain will still be there when his body catches up. It is a credit to Jack that we saw glimpses of these attributes in just his first ‘active’ year in the competition.

“The determination and discipline he showed to overcome his injury was first-class, and he has won a lot of respect from his teammates and staff with how he went about his rehabilitation and the way that he has built a body that is capable of playing regular AFL football.

“We have an exciting group of young players that we are investing in, and Jack has certainly got an important role to play as those guys grow and play more games together.”

Bytel has played three games for the Saints after being selected with pick No. 41 in the 2018 National Draft.