WITH a number of St Kilda players in promising pre-season form, and a host to return to the side next week, coach Brett Ratten admits his round one magnet board is starting to look crowded.
But, it's exactly the way the new Saints coach wants it, with his players showing signs his message is filtering through in their 21-point win over Hawthorn at RSEA Park on Thursday night.
The Saints had 10 goalkickers, two of which – Tim Membrey and Jack Lonie – nailed four each, with the team combining for a score of 111 points.
Put in perspective, that tally is the second highest the Saints have scored in the past year, having cleared 100 points just twice in their entire 2019 season.
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"The pleasing part was they were giving it off to each other in a better spot," Ratten said afterwards.
"If Tim doesn't get any and someone else gets three or four, that's great but to kick 111 points today was pleasing as well.
"It just shows that some of the things we've been practicing are starting to come out.
"The big two will be not relying on just one. Everyone chipped in, [Rowan] Marshall got a couple, the load was spread across the board.
"Even to have [Jonathon] Marsh come down there in the last quarter and have his speed and strength, [Max] King was close to getting three goals before half-time but not quite … [Dean] Kent was good as well.
"We've got some players in pretty good form so it's going to be a very hard task to pick a round one team."
Skipper Jarryn Geary, Dan Hannebery, Zak Jones, Jimmy Webster and Dylan Roberton will line up in the Saints' bushfire fundraising clash with Hawthorn next Friday in Morwell, while Matt Parker will play a half.
Meanwhile, Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said losing Ben McEvoy in the opening minutes on Thursday night, combined with the absence of James Sicily, hampered their structure and intercepting power behind the ball.
While he wasn't expecting McEvoy to miss more than a week with a corked thigh, Sicily is in doubt for next Friday's State of Origin Bushfire Relief match, for which he's been picked for the Victorian side.
Sicily landed awkwardly on his heel at training earlier this week and remains sore.
"He'd been keen to play and we're keen for him to play but we need to wait and see if he's right … we're hoping that's the case," Clarkson said.
Clarkson also said a decision on whether Tom Mitchell ramps up his game time next week after collecting 21 disposals in three quarters will be made depending on how he pulls up from his second game back from a badly broken leg.