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The silver lining in McCartin's injury ravaged season

Josh Gabelich  September 8, 2017 11:19 AM

AFL 2017 Round 02 - West Coast v St Kilda

Highly rated young spearhead Paddy McCartin has endured a difficult start to his career in the AFL.

One of the real benefits is we think he’s really learned how to train and how to go to another level in terms of his preparation.

While he would have much rathered had him out there, St Kilda Coach Alan Richardson believes young key forward Paddy McCartin found a silver lining during his injury ravaged season.

After sustaining a concussion in a VFL game in late June, the 2014 No. 1 pick was limited to training in the last couple of months of the season, where he elevated his training standards to a new level.

Despite another frustrating season marred by injury, Richardson is confident the 21-year-old is going to be a key puzzle piece in St Kilda’s pursuit of an elusive second premiership.

“He needs a bit of luck; I think we all know that. But he’s going to be a beauty Paddy,” Richardson said on SEN Breakfast on Friday morning.

“He came into the competition having to manage his diabetes and he’s absolutely nailed that now; he’s looking really good physically.

“It’s disappointing he hasn’t played in the back end of the year because of the concussion, but one of the real benefits is we think he’s really learned how to train and how to go to another level in terms of his preparation.

“He’s done most of that himself, of course we’re steering and guiding him. We’re really excited by Paddy.”

Since making his debut in Round 3, 2015, the Geelong Falcons product has kicked 22 goals from 22 games for St Kilda.