Saints can play AFL finals: McCartin

Key forward Paddy McCartin believes St Kilda can play finals this year and says it was an easy decision to re-sign with the AFL club.

The Saints announced on Tuesday the former No.1 draft pick had re-signed until at least the end of the 2018 season.

And despite just six wins last season, McCartin is confident the Saints are a chance to elevate themselves from 14th into the top eight.

“Every team goes into the season hoping they will play finals and to get the most out of themselves, so we’re definitely wanting to go as far as we can this year,” McCartin said.

“On and off last year we were really good, we (showed) really good pressure and played really well as a team at times, but then there were times we let ourselves down.” The Saints were cautious with the 19-year-old in his first season, where he managed six games.

His strongest return came in round 17 against Melbourne when he took nine marks and kicked a goal.

“It was a no-brainer really (to re-sign), the club looked after me a lot last year and showed a lot of faith in me and I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years,” McCartin said.

McCartin’s re-signing means the Saints have secured their entire 2014 draft crop which also includes Hugh Goddard, Jack Lonie and Daniel McKenzie.

“Paddy’s re-signing is firstly an important part of our list strategy going forward, but secondly it is a really good indication that he believes in our football program and the direction that we are heading in,” coach Alan Richardson said.

“We saw in short bursts his ability at AFL level last year and we think we will see more of that this year as he continues to develop his craft.”

“Paddy has completed much more of the pre-season this year, as all second-year players have, and he has come on in leaps and bounds from a conditioning point of view which will allow him to cover more ground this season and be highly beneficial for his game.”

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