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Saints had 'chip on their shoulders'

St Kilda recruit Dean Kent says the squad wanted to do the club - plus sidelined teammates Jake Carlisle and Jack Steven - proud in last week's trial match win.

Saints had 'chip on their shoulders'

St Kilda recruit Dean Kent says the squad wanted to do the club - plus sidelined teammates Jake Carlisle and Jack Steven - proud in last week's trial match win.

DEAN KENT of the Saints marks the ball during the St Kilda pre-season club match at RSEA Park in Melbourne, Australia.
DEAN KENT of the Saints marks the ball during the St Kilda pre-season club match at RSEA Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

St Kilda have a chip on their shoulder heading into the 2019 AFL season, as the critics hover and the setbacks bite.

Recruit Dean Kent said last weekend's pre-season win over North Melbourne was important for their young team, and they intend to carry that form into Sunday's game against the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat.


Then comes the round-one AFL game on March 24 against Gold Coast.

It'd been a rough few days for the Saints leading into the North game, with a long-term back injury sidelining Jake Carlisle and star onballer Jack Steven taking leave due to mental health issues.

The Saints have endured a tumultuous summer after last year's awful season, with plenty of changes, ongoing speculation about the future of coach Alan Richardson and star recruit Dan Hannebery's hamstring injury.

Most experts outside Moorabbin expect the Saints to remain in the bottom four, so Saturday's win over the Roos meant a lot to the club.

"You never get sick of winning and (with) a new game plan, new players, new coaches, it's really exciting," Kent said.

"We had a little chip on our shoulder, to do this club proud and those boys (Carlisle and Steven) proud.

"We're still fine-tuning a couple of things but to head into round one with a couple of wins under our belt (would be) obviously really healthy for this group."

Last weekend was also a milestone for Kent, who made his Saints debut after joining from Melbourne in the off-season.

Kent has endured rotten injury luck, managing only 11 games in the last two years, and this is his first full AFL pre-season.

He may have remained at Melbourne had he not suffered a shoulder injury in round 23 last season, but he said he was nevertheless pleased to be at St Kilda.

"My key thing was to try to stay injury-free and so far I've been doing that," Kent said.

"I don't feel like I owe anything, but I'm looking forward to getting out there.

"We're chasing our second flag and that's our whole goal here, to be a part of that."

AAP


AAP




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