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Hungry Roberton a key piece of the puzzle

Josh Gabelich  March 10, 2016 6:13 PM

List Focus: Defenders PART 2 Assistant Coach Rohan Welsh provides an update on how the back line is shaping this pre-season.
‘Robbo’ put in a lot of work in the gym early on when everyone was away. He’s always in here trying to improve his game.

St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton rebounded emphatically from an injury decimated 2014 last season, to produce the best season yet of his six-year career. Despite the response, he hasn’t rested on his laurels this pre-season according to his line coach Rohan Welsh.

Since crossing from Fremantle at the end of 2012, the 24-year-old has become a part of the furniture down back, providing Alan Richardson’s side with dependability in defence.

After finishing sixth in last season’s Trevor Barker Award, Welsh revealed that the Frankston product got back on the tools early ahead of pre-season in a bid to improve on his stellar 2015 campaign.

“‘Robbo’ put in a lot of work in the gym early on when everyone was away. He’s always in here trying to improve his game,” Welsh told saints.com.au as part of his update on St Kilda’s defenders.

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Welsh identified Roberton as one of the club’s developing leaders who will play a crucial role in helping assist the Saints climb back up the ladder in the years to come.

“He’s another emerging leader of the footy club,” Welsh said.

“He sees the game really well, he communicates with the rest of the defenders really well. He’s just one of those players who supports his teammates.

“He’s pretty courageous, puts his body on the line, he’s a really good ball user, so we’re really excited about what ‘Robbo’ can bring, not only this year but in the coming years to come.

“We see him as a real pivotal part of our defence.”

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Following 37 appearances in three years at the Dockers, Roberton has gone from strength to strength at Linen House Centre.

He now has 84 games next to his name to be on track to burst through the 100-game barrier in 2016 and is poised to take his game to the next level this winter.