It had been a long time coming for Jack Bytel, after being drafted at pick 41 in the 2018 Draft, but his debut was worth the wait. While it wouldn’t be accompanied with four premiership points, the former Calder Cannon showed why he was considered a Top 10 Draft prospect before injuries derailed his 2018 season.
Surgery for the bulging disc that caused these issues prevented him from playing in his rookie season at Moorabbin but he went about making up for lost time against the Cats. Opposed to one of the classiest midfields in the AFL, Bytel looked very much at home as he displayed his elite clearance winning capabilities.
He would finish the night with 18 disposals (eight contested), five clearances, and seven score involvements. The kind of performance that confirmed pre-draft comparisons to Sydney’s Josh Kennedy, it was an exciting glimpse of what the future might look like with the number 23 in the middle for the Saints.