ST KILDA coach Alan Richardson has challenged his team to be brave and play a riskier brand of football in 2015, dumping the conservative style that led to just four wins last year.
The Saints ranked No.1 in the AFL for moving the ball via the boundary line last year, taking the safest route out of their backline 57.1 per cent of the time, according to Champion Data.
As a result, they were among the slowest teams when turning rebound 50s into forward entries (16th) and in the bottom two for back-half kicks into the corridor (14.9 per cent).
Richardson said the Saints had focused heavily on their ball movement this pre-season and his players would be encouraged to take aggressive options in 2015.
"When we can, we want to be brave and we want to look to move the ball back through the middle of the ground," Richardson told AFL.com.au.
"There were times last year with the circumstances and the scoreboard where we became a bit conservative with the footy.
"That's one of our challenges as a group, to be more resilient and if we make a blue not to go back into our shell and not take that kick on.
"You could read into those numbers that clearly we want to go wide - that's not necessarily the case."
Entering his second season as coach, Richardson said he was confident the Saints had a solid grasp now on his game style.
By using 42 players in 2014, however, he said the team had struggled to get on the same page with its team offence and team defence, finishing with the wooden spoon.
A lack of intensity was another concern for the coach in several uncompetitive performances but being up for the contest all the time was being coached into the players.
"It is about constantly reminding guys what is important," Richardson said.
"It's an old coaching phrase - the harder they work, the harder it is to surrender.
"I'd expect us to be much more consistent with our intensity, but the reality is with a young group, we need to get strong pre-seasons into them."
Richardson said No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin, who is asserting himself in the Saints' match simulation drills, was in line to play NAB Challenge matches later this month.
However, the coach said an early impact from the powerful young forward wasn't important as he was "here for a career, not for the start of a season".
Fellow draftee Hugh Goddard has proved to be a "durable" option down back this summer, while Jack Lonie provides "something we need".
"We've struggled to put pressure on in our front half, so he's going to play a really important role," Richardson said of Lonie.
"He's under 70kg, so he's going to need to put on some size. He's very tough in the way he plays and we love the way he goes about it.
"He's had an impact in some of the stuff we've already done in terms of 20-minute game type situations, so he's doing everything right at this early stage."
Watch the above video for an exclusive extended interview with Alan Richardson.