BROCK-BURRUM ruckman Trent Storey believes the Saints are better equipped this year than in 2010 to snap one of the longest premiership droughts in Hume league history.
The success-starved Saints, who merged in 2006, have never played in a grand final with the 2010 preliminary final their highest finish since the merger.
Before the merger, Brocklesby won its most recent flag in 1958 with Burrumbuttock last tasting the ultimate success in 1969.
But with two rounds remaining before finals, the top-of-the-table Saints have a stranglehold on their first minor premiership since Brocklesby in 1983 with a 14-2 record.
Storey said the club’s greater depth compared to 2010 was the major reason most pundits regarded the Saints as a genuine premiership threat alongside Henty, Osborne and Holbrook.
“I think we have got a lot more depth this season,” Storey said.
“In 2010 we probably relied too heavily on too few a players to win each week.
“This season we have a lot more flexibility and don’t rely heavily on the class of our top half-dozen players.
“It’s your bottom six players which can get sorely exposed when the blow-torch is applied in finals but we have a lot more of an even spread now.
“Also in 2010 we were limping into the finals with injuries to key players and didn’t have the depth to cover it.”
Storey declared the premiership race wide open after having played Osborne, Henty and Holbrook in the past month.
“I think it is the most open year that I have ever been involved in and that includes when I was playing Ovens and Murray,” he said.
“The top-four sides look so evenly matched that it just comes down to who can perform on the day.”
The Saints biggest loss over the summer was the departure of key forward Paul Glanville.
This was easily outweighed by the arrival of Luke Schilg, Josh McCudden, Tyson Bradsworth, Craig DePiazza, Kallam Oates, Ben Gould and Liam Johnson, who have given the club significant depth.
Promising youngsters Darcy I’Anson, Mitch Koschitzke and Jacob Bennie have also blossomed this year after playing in the Saints 2011 thirds flag.
Storey felt the Saints new look attack minus Glanville was one of their biggest assets.
“One of our biggest assets is our spread of goalkickers,” he said.
“Kylin Morey, Darryn McKimmie, Kallam Oates, Dean Murphy and Ben Gould have all been able to step up at different stages during the season and kick goals.
“We are not just reliant on one or two players as in previous years.”
Storey has also been instrumental in the Saints revival since arriving from Wodonga Raiders in 2010.
The dominant big man won the Azzi medal in his first year with the Saints and also has two third-placed finishes in the Raiders best and fairest behind Adam Prior and Chris McCarty to his credit.
Storey, 33, recently recommitted to the Saints for another season and is excited by the club’s immediate future.
“We have only got two blokes over 30 with the average age of our list about 21,” he said.
“Hopefully we can keep the list together and enjoy a sustained period of success.
“But our immediate focus is the finals series and both towns are buzzing with excitement that we are playing finals again.”