Saints likely to debut Phillipou, Caminiti against Freo
Carlton player Jack Silvagni has emerged as the unlikely catalyst for St Kilda selection bolter Anthony Caminiti being on the verge of his round-one AFL debut.
Saints coach Ross Lyon has confirmed the 19-year-old and their No.10 draft pick Matthaes Phillipou will probably debut on Sunday against Lyon's old club Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.
While Phillipou will not be a surprise given his solid pre-season form, Caminiti is emerging as an inspiration for any player who's been overlooked in the national draft.
Once he missed out on joining a club, Caminiti went to train with Carlton's VFL team.
But the Saints intervened and invited him to train with them last month, a move which had some urgency given the pre-season injuries to fellow key forwards Max King (shoulder) and Tim Membrey (knee).
Membrey has not come up from his knee surgery in time and Lyon said on Wednesday he will not return until around round four to six.
Lyon also gave more detail about how Caminiti came onto their radar, via the Silvagni family.
Jack's father, Carlton great Steve "SOS" Silvagni, is a long-time Lyon lieutenant who is at the Saints as their list manager.
"I don't want to throw Jack Silvagni under the bus, but he came home and he thought he was talking to Dad, as opposed to the St Kilda list manager," Lyon said.
"He said 'Caminiti played really well on (Jacob) Weitering' ... SOS made the call and we got him down and he trained.
"Why am I confident if he plays? Because what he does, every session ... you just see his basics, he's been delivering them consistently.
"It hasn't been spasmodic, it's been consistent."
Lyon added Caminiti had "come from the clouds" to be on the verge of his AFL debut.
But King and Membrey headline an injury list of 14 players at St Kilda.
"I think 30 per cent out of our salary cap is out," Lyon said.
Lyon added he had "no rabbits in the hat" to deal with the absence of King and Membrey.
Mitch Owens will also play in attack as a tall marking option.
Despite the lengthy casualty list, Lyon said he does not detect a problem with their training regime.
"There's no soft-tissue crisis - as a coach, you think 'soft tissues'," he said.
"Clearly the ones we'd love to have are our key power forwards.
"Other than that ... the 23 we pick will all have had full summers and be fit.
"I'm not overly stressed. We don't feel like we're cramming. We've worked hard to prepare for this exam."
Lyon also played down this month's revelation sensitive audio from the coaches' box had been uploaded to a league-wide shared folder.
"I ran into Chris Scott and he said 'what were you doing saving it?' and I said, no, it was an accident. It wasn't meant to be taped," he said.
"We thought the likelihood of it being in someone's possession was low, but you can't ambush your players one day, waking up with the press.
"It was really saying 'this has occurred, we've gone through it and there are a couple of marginal bits'. A few of them (players) giggled and walked out.
"We're all human, we're not machines, we all make errors".