Emerging key forward Paddy McCartin has quickly repaid the faith shown in him by St Kilda by signing a two-year contract extension that will tie him to the Saints until at least the end of 2018.
After being acquired with the first pick in the 2014 National Draft, McCartin played six senior games in his debut season, showing glimpses of his prodigious talent, while also being given ample time to learn his craft with Sandringham in the VFL.
With the ink still drying on his fresh deal, McCartin revealed his decision to extend his time with the club that gave him an opportunity as a ‘no-brainer’ and something he was more than thrilled to do given the wave of high quality young talent at the club.
“(It was) a pretty clear decision. The club showed a lot of faith in me last year picking me up and they’ve been really good to me. So it was a no-brainer – just sign the contract and get on with it,” McCartin told saints.com.au on Friday afternoon.
“It’s a really exciting time; I reckon we’re on the right path. I think last year we showed some really, really good signs and hopefully this year, we’ve had a massive pre-season, that can transfer into some on-field performances.
“All the boys signed on last year, so as I said it was a no-brainer. Just get it done quickly, get it out of the way. It’s another thing I’ve ticked off.
“The club was really good to me last year in picking me up and I came through with a few boys that I was really good mates with and I’ve made a lot of good mates here as well.”
The Geelong Falcons product said his performances in the latter stages of last season proved to himself he could perform at the highest level, and provided a motivating fuel source heading into this pre-season.
“Last year towards the back end of year I played a few games and that gave me confidence going into the pre-season knowing that I can do it and I do belong,” McCartin said.
“I feel like I’ve just tried to give my all so far, tick all the boxes, and just try and tick each session off as it comes. I feel like I’ve done that well.
“Hopefully, not just for myself, but for the team, that can translate into some really good performances.”
Like all draftees, McCartin was held back during pre-season No. 1 and not exposed to anywhere near a full workload. The case has been starkly different this summer, with the spearhead doubling his output on the track this pre-season.
“It’s a fair bit different to my first one. Last year I probably did about 30 to 40 per cent of pre-season, so far I’ve done about 80 (per cent),” McCartin said.
“Obviously they try and manage our loads a little bit being a second-year player still having not done all the pre-season last year. But I’ve pretty much done everything and I’m feeling pretty fit.”