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Saints desperate to feature in September says skipper

Josh Gabelich  February 7, 2018 12:45 PM

Press conference: Jarryn Geary (6/2) Jarryn Geary spoke to the media today after announcing the Saints' 2018 leadership group from RSEA Park. (Tuesday 6 February, 2018)
We’re hoping we can produce our best footy more often than not, and not only make finals this year, but be contenders when we get there.

St Kilda Captain Jarryn Geary says the Saints are desperate to play finals this year after narrowly missing out in each of the past two seasons.

After comprehensively beating eventual premiers Richmond in Round 16 last year, St Kilda appeared to be on a path to the finals at 9-6, before dropping five of their final seven games to swiftly fade out of contention.

Geary, who was unveiled as skipper for the second consecutive year on Tuesday, has played in only one final in his 163-game career, which was the Saints’ most recent September appearance back in 2011.

“We’ve been bitterly disappointed that we haven’t been able to play finals in the last couple of years. We are not going to shy away from the fact we want to play finals this year,” Geary told journalists at RSEA Park.  

“Our fans have probably expected us to take a step further than we have, but we’ve won more games than we’ve lost in the last two years and we’ve been pretty close (to playing finals).

“We think our best footy has been good enough throughout the last couple of years, it just hasn’t been consistent enough.

“We’re hoping we can produce our best footy more often than not, and not only make finals this year, but be contenders when we get there.”

With so many teams fighting for a top-eight berth this year, Geary said St Kilda has focused on improving the transition phase of their game across the pre-season, with Senior Assistant Coach Adam Kingsley driving that part of the program.

“It’s certainly a tight competition and it’s going to be tight again – I can’t imagine it going any other way,” he said.

“Adam Kingsley has taken over the transition phase of our game, that’s both offensively and defensively.

“We haven’t had someone in that role previously and that’s a focus that the coaching group have put in over the pre-season.

“The transition part of the game is something that has become a big part of the game and we’re hoping to improve on that.”