Following the St Kilda intra club game last Saturday, SAINTS.com.au gave fans the floor to ask head coach Alan Richardson questions via a live Facebook Q&A.
Richardson on Fisher:
Sam looks like he has his speed and agility back. He was able to read the ball and intercept to good effect. Very positive performance.
VIDEO: Sam Fisher post-intra club
On Eli Templeton:
Eli performance was very positive. Last year he played as a forward, today he played more mid/forward. He's tracking well for Round one.
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On Paddy Mccartin and Hugh Goddard:
The boys have settled in really well and earned the respect of teammates through their efforts at training. They're both preparing in a positive manner and giving themselves every opportunity. Goddard’s definitely heading in the right direction with regard to round one and as soon as we think Paddy is physically ready and understands his role within the team he’ll play as well.
On Maverick Weller’s tagging role:
We have a couple of options. But that will be the role Mav plays predominately.
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On Tom Lee’s pass mark for season 2015:
Pass mark for Tom will be based on his ability to play his role for the team. Whether it be when we have the ball, or when the opposition has the ball.
On the development of the club’s footy philosophy:
I’m very confident that all players will improve in all facets of our play. Ball movement and team defence was hampered by injury last year. Looking to settle down this year.
Rest assured we have done a lot of work on our skills and I am confident that we will show improvement this year.
Our goal is to be much more consistent with our performance and with respect to win/loss, we will get what we deserve.
On the New Zealand game:
From a coaches perspective we really have embraced the trip and the players love the opportunity to play in NZ on Anzac Day. Our commitment to NZ is strong with our training camp and community work in December. We look forward to more New Zealanders jumping on board this year.
On the absentee players:
We have been conservative with Jack Steven given his recent history with foot injuries. He is on track to play NAB 1 this week. Adam Schneider has had a couple of soft tissue injuries over the pre-season, but is also not far away.
We'll certainly be playing to win. We'll pick as strong a team that is available, but fundamentally the NAB Challenge will be used to prepare for round 1 season proper.
On Ahmed Saad:
Saady is doing well. As a rookie he needs to be elevated to play, but given the injury to Siposs we have the availability. Ahmed is doing everything right. His attitude and approach to training has been first class.
On Josh Bruce’s role:
Bruce has the potential to play both ends. We saw strong performances in both positions last year. He will be used initially as a forward/ruck.
On Dylan Roberton:
Dylan has the attributes to provide strong football on both the wing and as rebounding half-back. He will play both roles throughout the year depending on the opposition. His flexibility is a real positive for the team.
On Shane Savage:
Sav had a good performance. Defended strongly and provided good run and carry.
On Jack Lonie:
Jack is very exciting small forward that is very creative with his ball use and relishes in applying pressure. He’s going well.
On Jarryn Geary:
Jarryn's role will be a predominately as a running defender and to lead strongly as one of our more experienced players.
On Tim Membrey:
Tim is a young forward that is still developing his game. He is every chance to play AFL footy early and has the versatility to play both deep and high forward.
On Jack Billings’ time in the midfield:
Jack has worked on many facets of his midfield play and the plan is that he will play a combination of mid/forward.
On the best players in Saturday’s intra club:
Newnes, Ross, Webster, Shenton, Geary and Fisher.
On Rookie upgrades:
We'll wait until the pre-season campaign is finished. We'll only upgrade if we intend to play or need a specific player to play.
On Billy Longer:
Billy was pretty good, strong in the ruck and took his chances when he went forward.
On Brodie Murdoch:
Brodie has a back injury that will take a while. I see him predominantly playing as a mid/forward. His running and kicking are attributes that are very important for our team.
On players to get excited about watching:
We're very optimistic that many of our young players will perform strongly throughout the year. I'd expect that mid-tier players such as Jack Newnes, Jimmy Webster, Seb Ross will bring the biggest improvements.
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On Jack Newnes:
Jack Newnes had a very good game. Stood out with his run and ball use. He'll play midfield, and depending on match-ups will also have a role in defence.
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On Jason Holmes’ progression:
Jason is very likely in NAB 1. We've been really impressed with his progress and think he's ready to play.