Jarryn Geary was again retained as Saints captain but will miss Thursday night’s game with a minor calf complaint, as will Dylan Roberton (corked knee) who was recalled to the Saints leadership group despite not playing a home and away game in almost two years because of a calf condition.
But Roberton said on Wednesday that he would feature later in the pre-season and is targeting the round-one clash against North Melbourne for what would be a remarkable return.
Tim Membrey, Jack Billings and vice-captain Seb Ross are the other members of the Saints leadership group.
Ross will be on managed minutes during Thursday night’s clash, with Membrey named to captain the side in Geary’s absence.
Zak Jones, traded to Moorabbin from Sydney as part of St Kilda’s off-season spree, will miss Thursday night’s match following a wisdom teeth procedure.
The Saints have also opted to rest Dan Hannebery from the match, while stars James Sicily and Shaun Burgoyne will be spared for the Hawks.
Minchington, 26, is firming to receive a spot on the Hawthorn list via the supplemental selection period, having trained with the Hawks during the pre-season after being delisted following just one year on the Hawthorn list.
The injury-prone speedster was picked up by the Hawks as a delisted free agent at the end of 2018 after seven seasons at the Saints but did not manage a senior match last year.
AFL rules allow train-on players to play in the Marsh series.
Having played in last week’s Hawthorn intra-club match, Mitchell has been named to take on the Saints as he works his way back from the broken leg which kept him out of the entire 2019 season.
Hawk Ben McEvoy and Saint Ben Long have been named in their respective sides’ back sixes as they look to build into new positions in 2020.
St Kilda have named young key forward Max King as he works his way towards a possible round-one debut.
Michael Hartley, recruited by Hawthorn from Essendon in the off-season, has been named as an emergency for the Hawks.
Meanwhile young Hawk Jacob Koschitzke has undergone surgery after injuring his AC joint in the intra-club match last week. The second-year tall is set to miss around four to six weeks.
Defender Roberton said on Wednesday that he was determined to return to his best this year.
“I wouldn’t want to come back if I was just making up the numbers,” Roberton said.
“I still think while I’ve missed a lot of footy, it hasn’t changed that much.
“It’s all I’ve been thinking about for a while so to get back and be this close to the start of the season is really exciting and makes the last couple of years feel like they haven’t happened.”
Hill’s story is also a comeback of sorts after the wingman was dumped from the Dockers’ leadership group following a brush with police during a night out in Scarborough in 2018.
“Obviously everyone knows what happened there; I’ve spoken about that before. I was disappointed about what happened over there,” Hill said.
“I’ve matured a lot since then and learnt a lot from that. It has been a couple of years now; I’m getting older and wiser.”
Daniel is an Age sports reporter