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Saint Fisher survives, AFL clubs wield axe

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Jason Phelan

Sam Fisher's AFL career hangs in the balance despite the veteran defender escaping the axe wielded on Friday by St Kilda.

Several clubs announced list changes ahead of Monday's first AFL list lodgement, but Fisher wasn't one of the four players cut by the Saints.

Fisher is out of contract but keen to continue his 228-game career in 2017, however the club has put off making a decision until after the trade and free agency periods.

But the 34-year-old is believed to have begun mulling retirement as discussions on his playing future had dragged on.

A rookie spot appears his best chance of playing next year.

Tom Lee, Cameron Shenton, Brodie Murdoch and Eli Templeton were told they would not be offered new contracts.

"We really appreciate the contribution that Cameron, Brodie, Tom and Eli have made to St Kilda Football Club as both people and players," chief operating officer Ameet Bains said.

"Each of the boys should be proud of their ongoing effort and level of professionalism during their time with the club."

Popular defender Matt Spangher was one of several cuts Hawthorn made to their playing list.

The journeyman achieved cult-hero status among Hawks fans for his part in the club's 2014 grand-final win, but struggled with soft-tissue injuries and managed just one game this season.

Former Melbourne ruckman Jack Fitzpatrick, defender Angus Litherland and small forward Zac Webster were also cut on Friday from the Demons' senior list.

Spangher, 29, was a second-round selection by West Coast at the 2005 draft and played 56 games in stints with the Eagles, Sydney and Hawthorn.

He managed a career-high 15 games in 2014 and finally tasted premiership success after missing out on the Eagles' 2006 flag and the Swans' 2012 grand-final win.

Fitzpatrick played three games for the Hawks this year after crossing from the Demons where he managed 22 senior appearances.

His miraculous long-bomb goal in his club debut against Collingwood in round 23 sealed a top-four finish for Hawthorn and he featured in both his sides' finals.

Rookies Lachlan Langford, Jermaine Miller-Lewis, Alex Woodward and Shem Tatupu were also delisted.

The Western Bulldogs officially cut ties with ruckman Will Minson and also delisted Josh Prudden, although they offered him a rookie spot.

Minson played 191 games for the Dogs and was an All Australian in 2013, but wasn't even an emergency for this year's grand-final team.

Essendon waved goodbye to 133-game veteran Courtenay Dempsey, Will Hams and rookie Gach Nyuon.

"Courtenay has made a significant contribution to the club both on and off the field during a career which spanned more than a decade at Essendon," football manager Rob Kerr said.

"He played with flair and courage, was a role model to his young teammates and has worked hard to make a difference in the indigenous community."

Former Port Adelaide midfielder Andrew Moore was let go by Richmond after one season at Punt Road.

Seb Tape, a first-round pick in 2010, was cut by Gold Coast, plus Keegan Brooksby, Clay Cameron, Luke Russell and Henry Schade.

Delisted players have the opportunity to join other clubs in one of three free-agent signing periods - the first one opens on Tuesday - or via the national, rookie or pre-season drafts.

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