ST Kilda hopes the addition of a clever goal sneak will help enhance scoring power in its second AFLW season.
Jamie Cox, who is head of the Saints' AFLW program, said Warrnambool draftee Renee Saulitis would complement the club's attacking combination.
Saulitis is a 163-centimetre small forward who arrived at St Kilda via pick 34 in Tuesday night's draft.
Cox said the Greater Western Victoria Rebels graduate boasted a skill set the Saints needed to improve on their two-win, four-loss debut season.
"We were quite shocked to be honest Renee fell through to our pick," he told The Standard.
"We had her ranked a fair bit higher. When she drifted, it was a real no-brainer for us.
"We had a strategy to want to score more, to want to hit the scoreboard and what Renee had impressed upon us in her NAB (League) footy was the capacity to be a clever and quite balanced wing/small forward.
"She's a footballer, she's played footy for a fair bit of her life which is also what we wanted."
Cox, who also works for Cricket Tasmania as a talent manager, said Saulitis would slot into the Saints' forward line.
"We've got some good key targets, some speedy forward options and her ability to read the play, be balanced over the footy and make good decisions to bring others into the game and to finish in front of goals herself, they are really important things for us," he said.
"We were competitive last year in our first year but we didn't score enough.
"We had a full-forward (Caitlin Greiser) who led the goal-kicking so we know we have some power up there but players like Renee and Jackie Vogt, who was another forward target we picked up with the next pick, can try and help that part of the game.
"We'd already reinforced our back end through the trade period with (Bianca) Jakobsson and (Jayde) Van Dyk coming in and doing that it meant we could put our sights somewhere else in the draft."
St Kilda believes Saulitis, who is completing year 12 as a Ballarat Grammar boarder, has the determination to establish herself as an elite footballer. Cox said he got the vibe "nothing really flusters her".
"A couple of things stood out to me in the interviews. She's got a really nice calmness about her," he said.
"The first question we would instinctively think about would be 'OK, you live in Warrnambool, it's a pretty big move to come to Melbourne'.
She batted that away with 'well I've been in school in Ballarat for two years and I really enjoyed getting away'.
"Straight away you develop some comfort that she's a pretty resilient girl, to cope with boarding school develops that.
"She is desperate to make a career out of footy and is really grateful for whatever opportunities might come her way."
AFLW has a state government exemption to start training with COVID-19 safety plans in place. The Saints hope to hit the track soon but will start official pre-season training in early November.
Cox said St Kilda's school-age draftees had been told "be excited by this prospect but don't let it dominate your thinking".
"We have made it clear to Renee, the number one priority now is to get schooling done," he said. Saulitis has been introduced to her teammates via video link.
"It's not normal but in the circumstances it was a nice way to show her face and everyone had a look at her highlights," Cox said.