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Riewoldt: ‘I’m excited to see the growth’

St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt is eager to see what the Saints can produce in Season 2019. - Nick Riewoldt,Max King
St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt is eager to see what the Saints can produce in Season 2019.

St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt is excited to see what the Saints can produce in Season 2019.

Speaking with SEN Afternoons, the club’s longest-serving captain said the new-look crop of Saints should help bolster his old side after an underwhelming 2018.

Eight new players arrived at RSEA Park during the off-season, equating to nearly 20% of the list, notably star Swan Dan Hannebery, former Demon Dean Kent and four mature-age recruits desperate to make an immediate impact.

The return of Dylan Roberton - a member of the 2017 All-Australian squad – also stands to strengthen St Kilda’s backline, which was too often under siege in 2018.


READ: Roberton eyes Round 1 return

“There’s a little bit more experience around the place with Dan Hannebery and Dylan Roberton back essentially as a new recruit from his heart scare,” Riewoldt said.

“Brett Ratten comes in who’s been a senior coach and I’m sure he’s provided a lot of guidance for the younger players.

“I’m just really excited to see the group of old too. Jack Billings and Jade Gresham are exciting young talent. I’m excited to see the growth that transpires.”

Unsurprisingly, Riewoldt also touched on St Kilda’s new No. 12, highly-fancied draftee Max King, and the former Saint is impressed by what he’s seen so far.

“To stand next to him, he’s an incredible specimen,” Riewoldt said.

“He’s just such a big kid and not an ounce of fat on him so he’s a pro and he’ll give himself every opportunity by the sheer nature of the fact that he prepares well.”

Along with footy smarts in spades, King’s intelligence has also been proven off-field.

He registered an astonishing 97.7 ATAR in 2018, all while completing a meticulous rehabilitation program and managing draft-year football commitments and pressure.

Aside from position played and number worn, it’s his preparation and attention to detail that have seen the young Saint draw comparisons to Riewoldt himself.