Former St Kilda assistant coach Matt Rendell has detailed two huge near misses that could have greatly improved the side during their 2009-2010 Grand Final run.
Rendell, who worked with the club under Grant Thomas, has revealed the club came incredibly close to trading for West Coast ruckman Dean Cox.
Cox had been a regular player for the Eagles to that point, but was only starting to become the dominant ruckman he would be in following years, stuck in a tandem with Michael Gardiner.
Rendell believes St Kilda would have landed Cox at the end of the 2004 season, had Gardiner not suffered an injury that handed the future six-time All-Australian a prominent role for West Coast.
“When I was at St Kilda, I thought we were a certainty to get Dean Cox,” Rendell told AFL Trade Radio.
“Michael Gardiner was their number one ruckman at West Coast and Cox was the backup and not getting much game time.
“Then Gardiner did his PCL and we interviewed Cox at the end of the year and he said ‘I’m really happy to come to St Kilda, I’ve just got to find out where I sit with West Coast’.
“And West Coast told him ‘you’re the number one now, Gardiner’s going to be out for most of the year’, so we lost Dean Cox.
“And Gardiner ended up coming in the end!”
Gardiner would end up being the one to join St Kilda for their run on the top of the ladder, while Cox became a key cog in West Coast’s back to back Grand Final appearances in 2005 and 2006.
Rendell also revealed St Kilda was close to signing Geelong star Cameron Mooney, who was one of their key adversaries during that same 2009-2010 stretch.
“We nearly had Cam Mooney as well from Geelong very early before they were at their best it was well before 2007 obviously,” he said.
“We nearly had Mooney we thought we had him over the line.”