ST KILDA players drove an internal review last week to address their horror 2021 form, focusing on a lack of effort and a need for players from successful environments to influence the club more.
As part of a members Q&A on Thursday afternoon, the Saints showed a clip of players and staff speaking openly during an honesty session from their two-week stint away in Sydney, prior to their loss to Adelaide in Cairns.
The video highlighted statements from head of football David Rath and key players Tim Membrey, Dan Hannebery and Jack Sinclair in what chief operating officer Simon Lethlean described as a "raw" meeting.
On top of several scathing weekly reviews this year – part of the 5-8 start to the season – the mid-season program was designed to look at the bigger picture and, according to Rath, the want to become a "dynasty team".
Membrey focused on an improved level of effort from Saints players, while Hannebery called on the need for players to speak up and ask more questions when required.
Sinclair, a player that coach Brett Ratten highlighted as an emerging leader at Moorabbin, pinpointed the need for players from successful clubs to provide more to the Saints' playing group. The Saints have recently acquired premiership players James Frawley, Bradley Hill (Hawthorn), Dan Butler (Richmond) and Hannebery (Sydney) from rival clubs.
"There's an acknowledgement of what effort looks like and what effort above that threshold can be achieved," Lethlean said during the one-hour members' session alongside Ratten and Rath.
"It's pretty important understanding when you become a professional in the AFL there's a higher threshold to get to and our players I think acknowledge that and we've got to work with them to see it more often."
Ratten said the players' effort would be closely scrutinised for the remaining nine rounds of the season.
"Pushing the limits physically and mentally, we've got to keep going down this path in bridging the gap and we can't just have a solid effort, we've got to have the maximum effort and that will be something consistent through the rest of this season and monitored," he said.
The Thursday briefing to fans also moved to address the work the club was doing to rectify its woeful goalkicking accuracy with more focus on routines and care the club had shown players this season in the wake of Membrey and Seb Ross departing the Sydney hub to be with their families.
Ratten said the Saints were yet to address the damning final quarter fadeout against the Crows, with players to dissect the performance when they return from their mid-season break on Friday.
He added that No.1 ruckman Rowan Marshall was poised to return from a foot injury to face Richmond in round 15 provided he cleared a training session on Saturday morning.