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The silver lining in McCartin's season

Paddy McCartin: Press conference (9/11) Paddy McCartin spoke to the media today during the 1-4 years pre-season camp at Larnoo Pastrol (Thursday 9 November, 2017)
Obviously from negatives, a few pros come from that as well – I’ve tried to take a few of those things to my advantage.
Paddy McCartin

A silver lining from Paddy McCartin’s frustrating finish to the season was on show on the opening day of St Kilda's pre-season on Wednesday.

McCartin, 21, ran a significant personal best in the first three-kilometre time-trial of the summer, flaunting his vastly improved engine at the starting line of his fourth pre-season at Linen House Centre.

While he would have much preferred to have been playing in the closing months of the season, the 2014 No. 1 pick made the best use of his time out of the game, building a tank in July and August and carrying that work through the off-season and into day one.

“I haven’t played since early June, so it was a long 12 weeks where I didn’t play. But with that I got pretty fit and worked closely with a few of the high performance staff,” McCartin told reporters at the clubs first to fourth-year camp at Larnoo Pastrol on Thursday.

“(I was able) to build a really strong base which has given me a bit of an edge to come in and run not too bad yesterday and give myself a bit of platform to go into the season.

“Obviously from negatives, a few pros come from that as well – I’ve tried to take a few of those things to my advantage.”

The young spearhead wasn’t the only player to impress on the opening day of the pre-season, with 13 players recording personal best times, in a run that was won by second-year midfielder Ed Phillips, ahead of Dan McKenzie and Jack Sinclair.

“I think we had 13 boys run PB’s which is pretty good for the first run back. For me and the boys, it gives us a pretty good platform to launch into the next six weeks and get stuck into it,” McCartin said.

Within hours of the first days testing being completed, the 21 young Saints – including new recruit Logan Austin – departed for a three-day camp in country Victoria.

McCartin said the purpose of the getaway was to develop the leadership amongst the young group before the remainder of the list returns in a fortnight’s time, so the next generation can drive the pre-season.

“We looked back on last year and the first to fourth-year boys that came back a bit earlier we found that in that two weeks before the older boys came back we were in our shells a little bit,” he said.

“I think Matty Hornsby (High Performance Manager) and the whole team in the footy department thought we will try and break the shackles a little bit early on, come down here and have two or three days where we’re just bonding together and do some activities and gel a bit.”