Kick it to Brad Hill, pleads Saints coach

Brad Hill has had more than 19 touches just once in 11 games.
Brad Hill has had more than 19 touches just once in 11 games.

The curious case of Brad Hill isn't lost on his new AFL coach Brett Ratten, who admits he isn't sure why his side's wingman is being starved of the ball.

Hill had more than 19 and as many as 37 touches in his final 14 games for Fremantle last season.

But the high-profile recruit's had more than 19 just once in 11 games under Brett Ratten, managing just seven disposals as the Saints crashed back to the pack in a 59-point loss to Geelong at the Gabba on Monday.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and allowed Geelong to overtake them into third.

Ratten wasn't out to blame his recruit though, adamant Hill's lack of ball is not through lack of effort.

"Maybe if we give it to him a bit more, when he's free and out in the open, got five, 10, 20 metres on his opponent," Ratten said.

"There's times there where he should get the ball and we (coaches) scratch our heads saying 'why won't we give it to him'.

"(Against Geelong) he worked to some good parts of the ground and we didn't give him the footy ... we played a part in that tonight.

"You look at his GPS (data) over the last few weeks; he's running at high speed, working extremely hard."

St Kilda next play Essendon on Sunday, with managed duo Zak Jones and Paddy Ryder to return after missing the loss to Geelong and the injured Seb Ross also a chance.

Ratten is also hoping to integrate injured midfielder Dan Hannebery into their Queensland hub.

Australian Associated Press