HAVING "shocked" teammates with news of his delisting, former St Kilda Category B rookie Ray Connellan is convinced he can make it at the elite level.

The Irishman was cut by the Saints without having made his debut after being recruited in 2016, playing the bulk of his VFL career as a small forward with impressive instinct around goal.

At 24, the blisteringly quick left-footer is not ready to resume his Gaelic football career.

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"I'm a pretty realistic person. I think if I was crap at this sport and I knew I wasn't good enough to play AFL football, I'd happily admit that. There's absolutely no shame saying you're not good at a sport you've never played before," Connellan told AFL.com.au.

"I've asked coaches (and) I've asked players to be honest with me and tell me if I'm no good … and I'll be good at Gaelic football and I'll live a comfortable life at home.

"But everyone that I spoke to, even the reaction of fellow players, they were shocked that I didn't get another year at it.

"That cemented it in my mind that, look, you're good enough to be here. Do everything you can to get to another club and if it happens, you've now got this unbelievable burn inside you to make it work, that you never even had before."

Speed is his best asset – he covers 20m in 2.78 seconds. To put that into context, the NAB AFL Draft Combine record is 2.75 seconds, set by former Gold Coast defender Joel Wilkinson.

With more time in the system, Connellan feels further improvement would have come swiftly.

"Without question. That's probably the most disheartening thing about it," Connellan said.

"I've had a contract for two years, but when you look at the actual amount of time I've been playing the sport, you take over two-and-a-half months out of that because I was back in Ireland for the off-season and for Christmas, and stuff like that. You're only playing the sport about 18-20 months."


Connellan was in the selection mix towards the end of 2017 but was never really considered for a promotion this year, despite the Saints having won seven fewer games.

"That was another thing that frustrated me a little bit," Connellan said.

He has gone back to Ireland for the time being, having sent vision around to other clubs after receiving assistance from Saints staff members Chris McKay and Justin Dickinson.

Regardless of what happens, Connellan is thankful he received an opportunity.

"Obviously I'm delighted St Kilda even gave the chance to come over here in the first place. They've been absolutely amazing. They've helped me grow so much as an athlete and as a person," Connellan said.

"Even in my transition now, they couldn't have supported me any more. Tony Brown, the player development manager there, I've never seen anyone work so hard or care so much for a person."

If it doesn't happen though, Connellan will still be happy.

"At the end of the day, no one's died, so it's not the worst thing in the world. I reckon I'll be happy no matter what happens but I'd prefer to fulfil all my potential over here first."