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Skipper confident McCartin can thrive in 2018

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Paddy McCartin of the Saints and Caleb Marchbank of the Blues in action during the AFL 2018 JLT Community Series match between the Carlton Blues and the St Kilda Saints at Ikon Park on February 28, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Paddy McCartin turned heads at Ikon Park last Wednesday night.
He probably could have been a superstar back then (1980-90s), but there is no reason why he can’t be now.
Jarryn Geary

Many think St Kilda spearhead Paddy McCartin would have thrived in an era where Gary Ablett Sr., Tony Lockett and Jason Dunstall reigned supreme.

The game is much different now than it was in the 1980s and 1990s, but St Kilda Captain Jarryn Geary believes the 2014 No. 1 pick has the tools to dominate any era.

After another injury-interrupted season last year, McCartin made an impressive start to 2018 in last Wednesday night’s JLT Community Series against Carlton, taking a handful of strong marks to go with four shots at goal, including two majors.

“He probably could have been a superstar back then (1980-90s), but there is no reason why he can’t be now,” Geary told the Herald Sun over the weekend.

“I am really confident about Paddy.

“He has done a mountain of work and is starting to work out what he can do as an athlete.”

Geary believes there is room for McCartin, Tim Membrey and Josh Bruce in the same forward line, despite the latter playing in the early game last Wednesday night, as he works his way back from a knee arthroscope.

“I think so,” Geary said.

“We have to get the structure right and, if we can do that, then I am sure it will be a big benefit to the team.”

With young midfielder Nathan Freeman suffering another setback with his troublesome hamstrings, Geary said the 2013 first-round pick has coped with all the obstacles he has encountered with class.

“He has been so impressive with his attitude,” he said.

“He hasn’t really had a taste (of AFL). All he has ever known is getting injured.

“He got to a really strong level last year and played some really good (VFL) footy. It’s another hiccup.”