AFLW Senior Coach Nick Dal Santo says a "relentless pursuit to improve" will be front of mind as St Kilda closes in on Friday night's season opener against Richmond at SkyBus Stadium.

Tonight will mark Dal Santo's first official outing at the helm of the club after the 260-game Saint was signed in August of last year.

While improving upon the club's three wins from last year's nine matches will be paramount, Dal Santo says the fierce determination to continually build will help define St Kilda's third campaign at the elite level.

"We want to win, there's no tiptoeing around that," Dal Santo told the Sounds of the Saints podcast.

"We're in an industry (where) you either get a W or an L beside your club's name at the end of every weekend. I don't know what that number looks like just yet, but I can promise we'll be better. 

"I think our ball movement will be better than what we've been in previous years, and there's a lot of that which is natural growth. Those younger girls that have had more experience can physically stand up to the demands of the game for longer, mentally understand a bit more about football and decision-making within a game and we've tweaked a few things defensively. When we put that all together, we'll be better than we were."

Dal Santo also praised the playing group's willingness to embrace the changes which have occurred in the football program.

"The girls have been absolutely sensational," Dal Santo said.

"A new coach comes in with some new ideas, there are other new staff members, a new Head of Football in Tessie McManus, but they have been so receptive, ask brilliant questions, take an interest in others and love the program.

"As I sit here right now four or five months after getting the role, I can't ask anything more of the group."

Listen to the full podcast through the media player below.

Podcast guide

4:24 - Stepping into the role and facing criticism
10:18 - The relentless pursuit for improvement
15:16 - Hannah Priest: "She's brought everything"
22:36 - The expectations for 2022