The West

Former Railways star still a Saint
Former Railways player Beau Wilkes has signed a new contract with the St Kilda Saints.

Season 2013 can not come quick enough for swingman Beau Wilkes after signing a new contract with St Kilda last week.

The former Railways star will remain at Saints until at least the end of next season after agreeing to terms with the AFL club.

Wilkes played 10 games for the Saints this season after being taken with pick No.68 in last year’s AFL national draft.

It added to the 23 matches he played with the West Coast Eagles across four seasons earlier in his career.

The 26-year-old, who will fly to Colorado later this month with team mates for a high-altitude training camp, said he was itching to go for another AFL pre-season.

“It is always a relief to re-sign, it gives you a bit of security,” Wilkes said.

“Last year was about finding my feet and learning the game plan, and now I am ready to attack next season.”

Wilkes revealed he did very little 2011 pre-season training with the Saints after being drafted, due to an ankle injury which restricted him from running, but the Claremont premiership player said his body was now better than ever.

“My body is fine, I feel like I am in better nick than last year,” he said. “I have done all the running program they gave us in the off-season and I’m in a lot better shape.”

Despite playing as a defender for the Eagles, Wilkes spent much of his time forward for the Saints last year, which included a haul of five goals against Melbourne at the MCG, but said he was happy to play a role in any position.

“I am a role player, I will fill whatever role the coaches want me to,” he said. “Last year I spent a full pre-season as a backman and played 10 games as a forward … but I’ll work hard where ever I end up.”

Carlton has also confirmed former North Albany player Josh Bootsma is contracted for the 2013.

The club expects he will add to his five AFL games this year. The 19-year-old is currently on a high-altitude training camp with the Blues in Arizona.

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