At a glance:

  • Oscar Clavarino has put his best foot forward towards a senior call-up following a strong showing in last Friday's scratch match against Brisbane.
  • It was the 21-year-old's second game back from a hamstring issue, with his marking a highlight in the wet conditions.
  • St Kilda is preparing to play Rounds 9-12 in the space of 16 days.

Oscar Clavarino has his sights set on a long-awaited AFL debut after piecing together his best performance in Friday’s scratch match against Brisbane.

The 21-year-old has battled a persistent hamstring issue since Round 3, with last week's performance just his second competitive hit-out post-injury.

Development Manager Ben McGlynn said it was encouraging to see Clavarino hit his straps against the high-end Lions after an extended period on the sidelines.

Oscar Clavarino in the tropics. Photo: Corey Scicluna.

“It was really good to see him play a good game,” McGlynn told

“He went for his marking, he represented us well in the air and his ground level defence was pretty good too.

“He can play on the smalls and the talls and he’s got Logan Austin down there as well who is playing that deeper defensive role, so between those two they rotate their responsibilities.

“Clav’s strength is his intercept marking, so we’ll try and get him to play that position as much as we can.”

Oscar Clavarino puts in the hard yards at the club's Northern Territory camp in November last year. Photo: Corey Scicluna.

The Haileybury recruit was cut down with a syndesmosis injury in the Saints’ intra-club match in February last year after a promising pre-season, before going on to play 14 matches for Sandringham in the VFL to close out the year.

Now, his importance to St Kilda’s depth has been bumped up following Nathan Brown’s return to Victoria late last week.

The untried defender is one of six Saints yet to make their senior debut, but that could change as the red, white and black prepares for a festival of football, with four games in 16 days.

Clavarino was selected with pick No. 35 in the 2017 National Draft.