VETERAN Saint Leigh Montagna believes a premiership is still within reach before he retires.
Montagna, 32, played in the 2009 and 2010 teams that came agonisingly close to winning a second flag for St Kilda.
The Saints lost to Geelong in 2009 by 12 points in what was just their third loss for the year. They played in a drawn Grand Final the next season, before Collingwood came away victors the next week by 56 points.
Speaking before his 250th game against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, Montagna said the thought of reaching the ultimate success continued to motivate him.
"That's the ultimate dream," he said on Tuesday morning.
"I've said in the past that [Hawthorn's] Shane Crawford is the inspiration. It was his last year in 2008 and he was able to hang on and have the young guys come through and carry him to a flag.
"I have it in the back of my mind that hopefully these young guys, if they continue to improve, they might be able to carry Nick [Riewoldt] and I to a flag one day.
"It's certainly possible. How realistic it is, that's anyone's guess."
Montagna is contracted until the end of 2017. He said his career would go for as long as he had the mental drive to play.
"As long as the coaches want me, my form's there and my body's feels healthy [I'll keep playing]," he said.
Riewoldt trained fully on Tuesday to allay any fears about a leg injury.
Paddy McCartin joined him and will be available for selection on the weekend.
The 19-year-old injured his hamstring in the Saints' first pre-season game against North Melbourne and has not played since.
He is likely to line up in the VFL this weekend.
St Kilda's affiliate, Sandringham, plays Box Hill in a practice match on Sunday afternoon at Trevor Barker Oval.
Consistency has been one of Montagna's trademarks. He played 17 games in 2015 after having knee surgery early in the year, and it was the first time he didn't play at least 20 games in a season since 2005.
The veteran nominated some of the younger players he expects to be part of St Kilda's next push for the finals.
"Jack Billings is one that can be elite. I really like the way he goes about it. Little Jack Lonie as well. They've both got that class," Montagna said.
"Seb Ross has been on the fringe for a long time - (he's) ready to make the leap.
"Hopefully Paddy McCartin can get a good run at it and play most of the season.
"He might not jump out of the ground this season, but it's just gradual improvements with him."
Montagna said even though the failed campaigns of the past were devastating, they did create fond memories.
"You look back and reflect a little bit, but we're very proud of what we achieved.
"We've got a really tight knit group of guys that played in that era that all still catch up, and we have a bond like we played in a premiership."