St Kilda’s three young forwards have scant space to share but Tim Membrey says they’re all selfless enough to make it work.
Membrey, Josh Bruce and Paddy McCartin played together in round nine, marking the first time this AFL season they’ve all been in the same side.
The trio clicked in the third quarter against Essendon, booting a combined total of seven goals to bust the game open and power the Saints to a 46-point win.
Former No.1 draft pick McCartin earned rave reviews for his clean marking and a couple of clinical set shots.
Just as impressive was a bullet-like pass to Bruce, which came when the 20-year-old marked in a difficult position and was lining up for goal.
“The three of us are really close. We know each other’s strengths and we don’t care who is kicking the goals,” Membrey told AAP.
“We identify the space and where we want each other to lead to.
“If it’s not working for one of us then we rely on that person to put blocks on, create contests and get the ball to ground.
“We work together really well at training and the more we train together and play together, the more we’re going to grow and develop.”
Nick Riewoldt spent limited time in the forward line against the Bombers, a pointer to a future that coach Alan Richardson described as exciting.
McCartin carries the burden of expectation more than Membrey and Bruce, as it will always be with any No.1 draft selection.
Membrey, who has played 17 games since being drafted by Sydney in 2012, knows full well how long it takes a forward to develop.
“You do take that little bit longer. You don’t just come in and start starring and he’s starting to get that now,” Membrey said of McCartin.
“His work rate has gone up another level in terms of training and now in games.
“He’s going to be a super player. He’s just such a big presence and very rarely does he drop a mark.”
McCartin, whose previous game came against Greater Western Sydney in round five, suggested he benefited from a recent stint in the VFL.
The 20-year-old also heaped praise on Membrey and Bruce.
“The way we worked together as a forward group, all three of us talls, helped out,” McCartin told the club website.
“I loved every minute of it to be honest, I love them two so it’s great.”