There was no easing back into things for St Kilda’s young group today, with players kicking off the post-Christmas training block with a punishing 3km time trial.

Emerging wingman Ed Phillips stormed home to cross the line first, with rebounding defender Daniel McKenzie and captain Jarryn Geary filling the minor places.

WATCH: Ed crowned Time Trial champion

Geary has rarely been beaten in his long tenure at the club, but with a delayed start to the pre-season due to a minor knee injury, it was Phillips who took the honours.

A fast-finishing Jack Newnes came home in fourth, narrowly ahead of a pack including Jack Sinclair, Seb Ross, Jack Steele, Jack Lonie, Blake Acres and Josh Battle.

While impressed by the guys at the top of the field, it was the performances further down the list that had Head of High Performance Matt Hornsby smiling.

“As a collective, that was as good as I’ve seen,” Hornsby said.

We expect improvement with such a young group, but this morning’s results show how hard they have been working individually over the break."

“The condition the group has returned in gives us a great platform to attack training over the next six weeks.”

Hunter Clark, Ben Long, Lewis Pierce and Paddy McCartin were other standouts from this morning’s run, while one of the biggest cheers was saved for category B rookie Sam Alabakis, who shaved more than a minute off his personal best time.

St Kilda players enjoyed a three-week break over Christmas as is mandated by the AFLPA, with this morning’s session marking their first hit-out for 2019.