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Envious Roberton looking on again

Josh Gabelich  September 7, 2017 10:31 AM

Roberton re-signs Dylan Roberton spoke to SAINTS.com.au after announcing he has re-signed for four years.
AFL 2017 Round 13 - North Melbourne v St Kilda

Rebounding defender Dylan Roberton was one of St Kilda's most valuable players in 2017.

It’s going to be hard to watch but I know the boys will be using that to push us over the pre-season.

Dylan Roberton played in two finals in his first season at Fremantle in 2010, but hasn’t featured in September since.

After narrowly missing out by percentage last year, St Kilda fell a game short this year, despite beating premiership contenders Greater Western Sydney and Richmond, as well as losing tight encounters to Port Adelaide and West Coast away from home.

The 26-year-old defender, who capped off a career-best season by inking a four-year extension on Wednesday, will spend another September watching on from afar, much to his displeasure.

“It’s always tough (watching and not participating), but this year will be even tougher knowing that we lost some games against some teams that are playing in there by not that much,” Roberton told saints.com.au after committing to the Saints until the end of 2021.

“So it’s going to be hard to watch but I know the boys will be using that to push us over the pre-season.”

Roberton said dual All-Australian Leigh Montagna had been instrumental in helping him blossom in the last few years, with the retiring champion providing plenty of leadership lessons along the way.

“‘Joey’ has been huge, obviously the way he plays and the leadership stuff and the communication that he shows on the ground,” he said.

“He’s going to leave a massive hole, but he’s given me and ‘Gears’ a lot of lessons.”

With Montagna passing on the baton to the next generation, Roberton said Daniel McKenzie, Brandon White and Bailey Rice are all poised to grasp more senior opportunity in 2018 and beyond.

“We saw a lot of footy with D-mac this year and Brandon towards the end of the year,” he said.

“We haven’t seen ‘Ricey’ yet but he’s got massive room for improvement, he’s been dominating in the VFL and with another good pre-season under his belt he should be able to come straight in hopefully play a lot of footy next year.”