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Ross' fast start making amends for 2015 frustration

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I was just able to get out on the track every session over the summer. It really transferred into the NAB Cup, I was able to get some form there and it’s followed into the season.
Seb Ross

After enduring an injury interrupted start to last season, St Kilda midfielder Seb Ross has burst out of the blocks this season on the back of a comprehensive pre-season at Linen House Centre.

The 23-year-old, who signed a two-year contract extension on Tuesday which ties him to the Saints until the end of 2018, didn’t miss a training session over the summer months and is reaping the rewards already this year.

Across the opening eight rounds of 2016, Ross’ numbers have spiked significantly. He is averaging more disposals (26.1), uncontested possessions (18.8), inside 50s (4.3) and tackles (5.6) than at any other time since his debut in 2012.

“I was able to get a really good pre-season under my belt this year. Obviously I got struck down by the hamstring injury early in the NAB Cup campaign last year, which set me back a fair way in hindsight,” Ross told SEN Breakfast on Thursday morning.

“I was just able to get out on the track every session over the summer. It really transferred into the NAB Cup, I was able to get some form there and it’s followed into the season.”

Ross said the direction the club has moved in under the guidance of Senior Coach Alan Richardson and the quality of the clubs youth were the main factors behind his decision to extend his time at the Saints.

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“This year, I’ve had a look at the list, we’ve been down the bottom for a few years, but just over the last two pre-seasons we’ve had and since Richo’s come in here you can see that there’s a real direction that we’re heading in,” Ross said.

“The young group of guys that we’ve got are really exciting and the old stalwarts that we’ve got are still playing some good footy.”

St Kilda’s impressive start to 2016 hit a speedbump in Perth last weekend when another slow start proved to be catastrophic at Domain Stadium.

After poor first quarters against Melbourne and North Melbourne in the last fortnight, Ross said the start against West Coast was even more disappointing given it had been a focus leading into last Sunday’s game.

“I think we were off a little bit at the start which was really disappointing because all week we had been focusing on our starts because against Melbourne we didn’t start that well and North Melbourne got the jump on us,” Ross said.

‘So we were really disappointed with the way we went about that. They are a quality side. Their pressure was through the roof and we just couldn’t cope with it.”

St Kilda will get an opportunity to reignite its season on Sunday afternoon when the Saints face an Essendon outfit that pushed ladder leaders North Melbourne all the way last Saturday.

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