Roberton steps away from AFL

15 March 2019 17:55:00 GMTPlus10

St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton is hoping he will be able to return to the AFL after taking a year off because of heart problems.

Roberton suffered a heart episode at the end of Sunday's JLT Community Series game against Western Bulldogs.

The 27-year-old had had a defibrillator implanted last year after he collapsed suddenly in a round-four match from a previously unknown heart problem.

After his third game back against the Bulldogs his heart episode at the end of the match left him "feeling wonky" and needing treatment from doctors and paramedics.

He had meetings with his cardiologist and club doctors this week to analyse scans and data.

Roberton told his team-mates Friday morning he would not play this year and would reassess in 12 months' time.

"It's extremely frustrating because I physically feel fine, and if you exclude those two incidents, I'm as healthy as I've ever been," he said. "Unfortunately, I need to listen to the professionals and take some more time out of the game."

Roberton said he had wanted to make the call while the Saints still had time to add a player to their list to replace him this season.

Coach Alan Richardson said it was a blow to lose Roberton for the season, adding: "Robbo is an incredibly selfless player and nothing speaks more to that than his want to continue to play on and contribute to our group.

"To lose a player of his calibre is no doubt a blow, but as he said to his teammates when he spoke to them today, he has enormous faith in our guys to step up and fill the void."

St Kilda are 251.00 to win the AFL Grand Final, while the Saints are 1.25 to win their first game against Gold Coast, who are 4.15.

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