IN AN ideal world St Kilda’s emerging talent will have to bide their time before they debut, according to Alan Richardson.

Speaking at the launch that will see Dare Iced Coffee become the club’s Principal Partner for at least the next two years, the second-year senior coach expected plenty of selection headaches in 2015.

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“All of our young blokes have the potential to play, though some will take a bit longer than others,” Richardson said.

“We need to end up being in a position where it takes a while for some of these young guys to get in.”

Forty-two players pulled on the Saints guernsey in 2014, exemplifying the club’s battles with injury, form and consistency.

Three played debuted in round one against Melbourne last year - Luke Dunstan, Jack Billings and Eli Templeton - a situation that is unlikely to reoccur against GWS in early April.

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“Paddy [McCartin] is here for a career, not one game. We won’t rush it him, it will be when he’s ready,” Richardson said.

“Like our team, we won’t put any limitations on him or the other new blokes. They are preparing to play… [So] if they are good enough, they will play.

“Bigger guys tend to take a bit longer. Paddy and Hugh are key position players and are less likely to have the same impact in their first year as a midfielder.”

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Instead of spending time trying to address one deficiency over another, the recent intensive block of summer training has been about improving every aspect of the Saints game.

“Our improvement needs to be holistic,” he said.

“We need to be better with the ball and without the ball. We were really pleased with the way individuals improved, but anything that required teamwork or synergy really fell away [in 2014]. That’s a really significant focus.

“We’ll see some improvement there.”

As captain of the club, Nick Riewoldt remains resolute in his ambition to propel St Kilda back up the ladder.

His 15 years of experience at the elite level means the 281 game veteran is well placed to evaluate the success of St Kilda’s pre-season to date.

“The quality of the work they (the players) have been doing has been outstanding,” Riewoldt said on Tuesday morning.

“The actual improvement will come on game day and we will get to see how far we’ve come. What I do know is that we’re doing the work and making sure we leave no stone unturned.”


“We are all about growth and development. Setting limitations will only hamper the group because we want to improve all areas of our game. That’s my role as a senior player and Richo’s role as the coach.”