Hill sees big AFL future ahead for Saints

St Kilda AFL recruit Bradley Hill (L) is looking forward to reuniting with coach Brett Rattan.
St Kilda AFL recruit Bradley Hill (L) is looking forward to reuniting with coach Brett Rattan.

The lure of reuniting with AFL coach Brett Ratten wasn't behind Bradley Hill's switch from Fremantle to St Kilda, with the gun wingman deciding on the Saints long before Ratten was given the top job.

Ratten was an assistant coach at Hawthorn at the same time Hill was part of their three-time premiership-winning side from 2013.

Hill left the Hawks at the end of 2016 to return home to Fremantle, while Ratten joined St Kilda last season as an assistant before being appointed to replace Alan Richardson as head coach for 2020.

The 26-year-old said it more of a happy coincidence than a motivating factor in his move to Moorabbin.

"Obviously, I didn't know the coach change was going to happen," Hill said on Friday.

"There's obviously a new coach in Brett Ratten but the boys are pretty happy to have him on board.

"I had some work with Ratts when I was at the Hawks so it will be good to get back in there working with him again."

Hill said the Saints were the first club he spoke to and he felt they had a lot of upside with their list, also including four other recruits in small forward Dan Butler, midfielder Zak Jones, defender Dougal Howard and ruckman Paddy Ryder.

"The way they were going and the direction of the footy club, with a lot of young talent, I thought it would be a perfect fit for me," Hill said.

"You've got guys like Hunter Clarke, Max King, who's going to start playing some footy and is going to be fantastic player.

"They are only going to get better the more footy that they play."

Hill, who won the Fremantle's best-and-fairest award in 2017 in his first season, admitted he had a slight knee issue but didn't think it would delay his start to training.

"I can still run and do everything and played all of last season without missing any games so I will start pre-season, day one," he said.

"There will be a little bit of load management."

Australian Associated Press