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Saints determined to close the gap

Josh Gabelich  December 7, 2017 10:55 AM

AFL 2017 Round 07 - St Kilda v GWS Giants

Seb Ross and Dylan Roberton were two of St Kilda's most consistent players in 2017.

(We've had) a real focus about what it means to be more consistent for the individual and what facets of our method need to be better so we can be more consistent.

St Kilda Coach Alan Richardson will spend the summer working closely with individuals to help close the gap between the Saints' best and worst, following another inconsistent year in 2017.

The Saints overcame a midseason slump to win four consecutive games between Rounds 13 and 16, before dropping four of the next five to see their finals chances evaporate late in the year.

A week after stunning eventual premiers Richmond by 11 goals following a first-half onslaught, the Saints were comprehensively beaten by Essendon to underline their consistency issues.

Richardson, who is nearly midway through his fifth pre-season at Linen House Centre, said the football department is focused on making individuals more consistent to make the team more consistent in 2018.

With All-Australian squad members Seb Ross and Dylan Roberton, who also finished first and second in the Trevor Barker Award, becoming far more consistent performers in 2017, it’s not hard to see where the improvement can come from if others can follow their lead next year.

“We identified at the end of the year that our good footy is really strong and competitive against the better teams, which we clearly want to be one of those, but the gap was still a little bit too big,” Richardson told afl.com.au at RSEA Park.

“There was no better example than the Richmond game into the Essendon game.

“And whilst the Bombers played well that day, we were disappointed with the level of difference in terms of the level of performance.

“So that’s been a real focus about what it means to be more consistent for the individual and what facets of our method need to be better so we can be more consistent.

“Our focus has been on being much more consistent with our performance."