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Four faces you haven’t seen

Max King is one of four fresh faces vying for senior selection. - St Kilda Saints,Max King,Doulton Langlands,Nick Hind,Oscar Clavarino
Max King is one of four fresh faces vying for senior selection.

Three young Saints have earned their AFL debuts already in 2019.

But that number could grow significantly by the end of the season, with a budding young contingent waiting for their opportunity to break into the senior side.

Max King arguably shapes as the most exciting prospect.

An imposing presence through his 202cm frame, the 18-year-old has made the forward 50 his own after a successful recovery from his well-documented ACL injury.

WATCH: VFL Round 7 - Max King highlights

While King’s 10 majors from four VFL games has stamped his impressive return, it’s been his aerial work and contested marking which has served as his defining trait.

Six marks and a complementary four-goal bag against Essendon showed just what the pick No. 4 is capable of, with his influence and output growing with each passing week.

And if the inheritance of the esteemed No. 12 guernsey is any indication of his potential, the 18-year-old could be set for a long and prosperous career in the red, white and black.

In a number far less iconic is Doulton Langlands.

Although his No. 46 has been surrounded in obscurity since it first appeared in 1943, the rookie-listed Saint has the capability to make the guernsey a regular feature for St Kilda.

A hamstring injury curtailed Langlands’ pre-season and chances of an early call-up, but since returning from concussion last month – in which he missed two games – has utilised his midfield flair to great effect.

Exhibiting bullish inside work and strong running patterns along the wings, the big-bodied mid’s balance around the contest has caught the eye for Sandringham.

Yet it’s Langlands’ explosive pace and ability to burst from stoppages that make up the most damaging attributes.

And it’s something which would go greatly appreciated for the Saints, particularly given the absence of Jack Steven.

READ: Hannebery takes a promising step

But if there’s one player to rival Langlands’ leg-speed, it’s Nick Hind.

The line-breaking half-back has been a consistent and influential contributor across his seven games for Sandringham.

The mature-age recruit was picked up by the Saints after two-and-a-half seasons with Essendon’s VFL side, and after trading out his sash for some stripes, it didn’t take long for him to impress.

A 41-disposal haul against Box Hill showcased Hind at his absolute best, with the performance thrusting him into the selection equation after just two games in the VFL.

While a senior debut hasn’t yet eventuated, Hind’s current form – which sees him average 24 disposals per game – coupled with the loss of Jarryn Geary could see him to speed into St Kilda’s best 22.

He’s not the only defender firming for a senior spot, with Oscar Clavarino building nicely towards a potential debut.

The emerging backman was looking highly promising during the pre-season, before a high ankle sydesmosis strain sustained in February’s intra-club match halted his run.

Now back for the Zebras and filling the key defensive posts, Clavarino continues to develop his game, fast-tracked by his natural football nous.

Much like his future counterpart in King, Clavarino’s marking serves as his most distinctive characteristic, with his aerial contest work a prominent feature of his game.

An eight-mark display against the Northern Blues hinted at the agile defender’s potential and showed there’s plenty more for the 20-year-old to give.

Able to read the play to great effect and balancing it out with his sound decision-making, Clavarino is ticking all the boxes as he hunts for his maiden appearance in St Kilda colours.

While all four are yet to make their senior debut, their time in the red, white and black is just around the corner.

The next generation lies in waiting.