Former top St Kilda Saint likes the look of Alik Magin
ONE of St Kilda's favourite sons, two-time All Australian Austinn Jones, believes Gold Coast discard Alik Magin can reclaim a place in the AFL next year.
Magin, 22, was delisted by the Suns last October after playing just eight games with the club during 2011-12 seasons.
The Pomona export has, however, been among the most impressive performers for Bendigo Gold in the VFL this season.
"He's a quality player, that's for sure," Gold coach Jones said. "I'd be very surprised if he wasn't good enough to step up to play AFL next year.
"When he's on, which has been nearly every quarter this year, he's been a great contributor for us."
Jones, who played 226 games for the Saints from 1995-2005, said Magin offered surprising versatility.
"As a kid and when he was on the Gold Coast list, he played probably as that small permanent forward but sort of on the outside pocket of the flank," Jones said.
"But our side is struggling a bit on field so he's been asked to do a lot of the inside midfield work and he's actually doing it dreamily.
"He's got a fair bit of courage and strength in the contest and with his skill level, when he gets the footy on the outside, he's as good as we've got."
Jones believed that adaptability would help Magin in his quest to be drafted back into the AFL.
"I think what AFL clubs will probably look at is that he's actually got that balance and I think that's going to help him get on to a list," Jones said.
"AFL clubs can look and go, 'Hang on, this kid's actually got a couple of strings to his bow'."
Jones knows what it takes to get back to the big time.
At one stage late in the winger's career he was dropped to the VFL, but stunned many observers to forge his way back into the top tier.
He retired with 127 goals to his name.
As coach of Bendigo, "Aussie" is intent on helping young players earn spots in the AFL.
"There are recruiters at every game," he said.
"I've spoken to one club and Alik's name was the first one to come up. It's bloody hard to get drafted and there are no guarantees, but he's going to be right in the mix, that's for sure."
Magin's older brother, Rhys, played four games for Essendon in 2008, his father, Billy, chalked up his 700th senior game of Aussie rules when he played for Pomona on Sunday.
"He (Alik) does look like he's got a bit of longevity in him, too," Jones said.
"I don't know if he'll quite get to 700 but he'll rack up a few, that's for sure."