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Consistency still a big focus says Richardson

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Alan Richardson, coach of the Saints addresses the team at three quarter time during the 2017 AFL round 15 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the St Kilda Saints at Domain Stadium on July 02, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
St Kilda finished 2017 with 11 wins and in 11th position on the ladder.
They’re moving into that games played demographic where we should be much more consistent and that’s exciting.
Alan Richardson

St Kilda Coach Alan Richardson says his side will be seeking to narrow the gap between their best and worst over the pre-season after the Saints experienced consistency issues in the second half of 2017.

The Saints were on track to return to September for the first time since 2011 when they beat eventual premiers Richmond by 67 points in Round 16, winning their fourth consecutive game to be one of the form teams in the competition at the time.

But from there, things didn’t go to plan for St Kilda. They were comfortably beaten by Essendon the following week and lost four of the next six games to fade late in the season and miss the finals again.

“At that stage, we were 9-6 and when you have a performance like that (against Richmond), that’s a real good launch pad but we weren’t able to take advantage of that,” Richardson told Adelaide radio station FIVEaa.

“In fact, the next week we got beaten pretty badly against the Bombers and that’s an example of where we were at last year; our best was really strong (but we were too inconsistent).

“Our blokes are going to have another pre-season, they’re moving into that games played demographic where we should be much more consistent and that’s exciting.”

Richardson, who inked a two-year contract extension last month that ties him to the club until the end of 2020, spent the last part of his time away from the club trekking the Kokoda Trail with his wife and two sons.

“It was an incredible trip. We all hear the stories when others go over about how challenging it is, so to be able to do that with my two sons and my wife was just a terrific experience,” Richardson said.

“It’s something we wanted to do as a family for a while. There are some great things that happen to your family when you’re a coach, but there’s really some compromises at times in terms of the quality time.

“So this was no phones, no social media, there was nothing but spending a lot of time with each other so that was valuable.”