THE Saints have an easy assessment this season: anything less than a premiership is a failure. It puts the pressure on but surely they deserve it after crashing out in the final quarter against the Cats in last year’s grand final.
The explosive pace of Andrew Lovett would have been handy this season. But instead the club has been an explosive off field peace talks with the former Bomber who came to the club via trade.
New recruit Jesse Smith could be somewhat of an x-factor but perhaps their biggest improvement could come from David Armitage in the midfield who seems to be the clear winner of Luke Ball departing from the club.
Nick Riewoldt continues to be a dominant player and can he stand up for another season? He singlehandedly got the Saints through to the big one. He’ll need another big season for the Saints to be premiership candidates.
On-field: Andrew Lovett, Brett Peake (exchange period), Nick Winmar, Will Johnson, Adam Pattison, Jesse Smith (NAB AFL Draft), Daniel Archer, Mark Hutchings, Tommy Walsh (NAB AFL Rookie Draft)
Off-field: Brian Royal (development coach)
B: Steven Baker, Zac Dawson, Jason Blake
HB: Farren Ray, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Jason Gram, Leigh Montagna, David Armitage
HF: Brendon Goddard, Nick Riewoldt, Nick Dal Santo
F: Adam Schneider, Justin Koschitzke, Stephen Milne
Foll: Michael Gardiner, Lenny Hayes, Clint Jones
I/C: Brett Peake, Andrew McQualter, Steven King, Rhys Stanley
Out crystal ball: They only play one 2009 finallist in the first five weeks so they are set to get off to a flying start. They haven’t been flashy during the pre-season but still made the NAB Cup grand final. You would expect the Saints to be in another grand final with a strong list. But then again expectations don’t go well down at Moorabbin. Prediction: 2nd