If you ask St Kilda players, coaches or supporters about their thoughts on Tim Membrey, you will get a consistent theme in the answers: "all heart".
Since his arrival in 2015, the tattooed Saint has forged a name for himself as the club's barometer for competitiveness and spirit.
While externally he may not get the attention that other teammates receive, internally he is renowned as a player who gives absolutely everything to St Kilda, evident through his appointment as co-vice-captain this season.
His work ethic and hunger has seen him earn a reputation as a strong-marking endurance machine who can provide the link between defence and attack, while his constant willingness to give his all each week is in a league of its own.
But that's nothing new for Skunk. And it's something that won't change heading into the back half of the season.
By the numbers
Games (2021): 12
Goals (2021): 18
Key stats: First for St Kilda’s goals (18), marks (90), marks inside 50 (31), goal assists (10), equal-first marks on lead (16), second for contested marks (23), third for inside 50s (41)
The leading goal-kicker for the club in 2016, 2017 and 2019, Tim Membrey is well placed to add Season 2021 to that list.
The key forward currently leads the Saints in the goal-kicking department, providing a tall option inside-50 and along the arcs as a strong-marking target.
In seven out of 12 matches, Membrey has bagged two majors or more for his side, all the while averaging 15 disposals, 11 kicks and eight marks per game, well up from his career average.
The No. 28 currently sits first among the AFL’s key forwards for intercept marks, and second for total marks, effective disposals and metres gained.
There were plenty of matches to choose from for Membrey’s best game of the year.
20 disposals, two goals, eight marks and 11 contested possessions against Sydney nearly got St Kilda over the line in the Harbour City, while his outputs against North Melbourne (17 disposals, two goals, eight marks) and Hawthorn (17 disposals, two goals, seven contested possessions) were equally impressive.
But it is hard to go past his Round 1 showing against Greater Western Sydney to start the year.
Kicking off his season in the best way possible, Membrey had an outstanding game in the miserable conditions as the Saints dug deep to come away with a gritty win on the road.
The 27-year-old kicked three goals in the wet, as well as collecting 21 disposals and clunking seven marks in a best-on-ground performance, netting him 10 coaches' votes in the process.
Season to date
The year begun for Membrey being awarded the vice-captaincy role for the 2021 season alongside Dougal Howard, serving under co-captains Jack Steele and Jarryn Geary.
It didn’t take long for him to repay the faith either, as the Saints forward led his side to a memorable Round 1 win away from home against the always-tough Giants in the wet.
Membrey's week only got better from there, signing a three-year contract extension with the club to keep him at RSEA Park until 2024.
This kicked off a solid month of footy for the key forward, as he collecting 47 disposals in the next three games to go with ancillary 26 marks and four majors.
A 69-point win against the Hawks saw Membrey put together an dominant display (17 disposals, two goals) and repeated the effort two weeks later against Geelong with 13 touches, 10 marks and another two goals, though this time his influence couldn't see the Saints over the line.
Another 17-disposal, two goal performance against North Melbourne brought his side the victory in front of an empty Marvel Stadium, before he finished off with another two majors, as well as 20 touches against the Swans.