Saints can be flag contenders: Fisher - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints can be flag contenders: Fisher

By Robert Grant 09/01/2009 04:40:32 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda have called on their bulging list of rookies to act quickly in the scramble for spots this AFL season.

Defender Sam Fisher said it was not good enough for the young players coming into the squad to wait and hope for selection, warning competition would be fierce.

St Kilda signed seven rookie-listed players at the end of last year, led by ex-Hawthorn defender Zac Dawson.

"We've got a lot of young guys here, a lot of new players and we've got one of the biggest lists in the comp I think now, so there's a lot of competition for spots," Fisher said on Friday.

"They've all shown promise so far and they're exciting. They've really put their head down and they've been willing to learn and willing to train hard.

"That's what we've encouraged as senior players when they got here - really to sort of attack it and not wait for anything to happen and they've all seemed to do that so far."

The Saints were crushed by 2007 premiers Geelong in the qualifying final last year, rebounded to beat Collingwood and then bowed out to eventual premiers Hawthorn in a lacklustre performance.

Fisher believes St Kilda can step up to challenge the two dominant sides from 2008 with an injection of self-belief across the board.

"I think we can improve massively. Judging by the two finals we were a little bit off the top sides in that finals series," he said.

"So improvement's got to come from within and young guys taking their chances and stepping up to the plate.

"That's what this pre-season's all about and hopefully we can bridge the gap pretty quickly on those two top sides.

"I suppose we took out of last year and the finals that we did beat at least one of those sides last year (Hawthorn in round 16) and we played reasonably well throughout the year against Geelong also.

"We took a lot of confidence out of that (but) we did lose the finals quite convincingly.

"But it just gets back to our middle tier and top tier players and even the younger guys all improving over pre-season, really working hard and gaining that confidence that we can mix it with the best of them," Fisher said.

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