Saints' McCartin poised to make his mark

Nov 21, 2017 - 12:26 AM A rejuvenated Paddy McCartin is well-placed to help lead St Kilda back to the finals for the first time since 2011, according to teammate Tim Membrey.

The Saints disappointed last season when they missed the finals with just 11 wins and they will head into 2018 without the leadership and experience of retired pair Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna.

McCartin, the No.1 pick at the 2014 draft, was again limited by concussions last season, managing just five games having suffered his sixth head knock in four years.

But the club is confident the imposing tall forward is ready to make his mark.

"(Nick) made it pretty clear that Paddy is the one to come in and make a big stamp on this team," Membrey said.

"I think that he's going to be a superstar. He's clearly putting in the hard yards now and the rewards are starting to come in his aerobic capacity.

"I just hope that he gets a clear run at it with no injuries."

The 23-year-old is confident the young Saints have developed to the point where they are ready to achieve success without their recently retired stars.

Membrey told reporters on Tuesday that St Kilda's inability to make it to September last season had been hard to swallow.

He agreed that in the fifth year of coach Alan Richardson's patient rebuild, it was time for the Saints to play finals.

"I would certainly like to think that we can play finals," he said.

"We've certainly got the character there and the experience coming through that I think we can play finals.

"It burned a little bit in the belly over the break, but that's what gives us a bit of fire to come out, have a solid pre-season and hopefully play in September."

Source: AAP

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