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Weller setting the right example says retired great

Saints forward Mav Weller has made a strong start to the pre-season.
If every player on the list takes a small percentage increase in their physical or football performance, it all adds up.
Leigh Montagna

Retired St Kilda great Leigh Montagna says Mav Weller’s dedication to his preparation sends a strong message to his teammates.

The 25-year-old is one of a few Saints who have stripped weight off their frames in recent months in an attempt to cover the ground more efficiently in 2018.

After being plagued by a lingering ankle injury this year, Weller has dropped eight kilograms since the end of last season, while dashing defender Shane Savage has also shed five kilograms.

“If every player on the list takes a small percentage increase in their physical or football performance, it all adds up,” Montagna told the Herald Sun.

“They’re the little things that you need to learn. It’s such an even competition that the little things do matter.

“To have one of your leaders doing that sets a good example to the younger boys that it doesn’t matter how old you are or where you’re at with your football, you can always look to get better.

“That’s just a credit to his professionalism and his dedication to be a really good player.”

Montagna, who passed his famous No. 11 guernsey onto new midfielder Hunter Clark last week, said Weller’s body transformation reflected the demands of the modern game.

“You need to be leaner now and be able to run with the modern game,” Montagna said.

“Mav looks at a weight and he puts on size. I wish I had that problem where I didn’t have to do weights for my whole career.

“For the majority of guys, they need to bulk up and put on size to have a body to play AFL and then there’s guys like (David) Armitage and Mav Weller and these lucky blokes that try and do the opposite.”