For the first time in around five years St Kilda will feel the pressure to perform. No one will expect them to make the finals or win many games, but general improvements will need to be seen in all areas for people to be convinced the rebuild is working.
It is almost impossible to forsee how St Kilda will line up in round one this year. Injuries may occur and nobody knows the eventual punishment Jake Carlisle will receive. Regardless, we've given it a crack.
Note: Emergencies have not been named.
THE POSSIBLE LINEUP
BACKS: Dylan Roberton, Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher
HALF-BACKS: Sam Gilbert, Jake Carlisle, Jarryn Geary
CENTRE: Jack Newnes, David Armitage, Leigh Montagna
HALF-FORWARDS: Luke Dunstan, Nick Riewoldt, Jack Billings
FORWARDS: Jack Lonie, Josh Bruce, Jack Sinclair
RUCK: Billy Longer, Jack Steven, Maverick Weller
INTERCHANGE: Shane Savage, Jimmy Webster, Nathan Freeman, Hugh Goddard
Paddy McCartin: The toughest omission from the starting 22. We will see Paddy be named a lot more this season than the last, but playing McCartin, Riewoldt and Bruce clogs the forward line with talls.
Tim Membrey: Shows great pressure but isn't tall enough to be a leading target down forward. If his role is moved into the middle we can see him playing a lot more often.
Darren Minchington: Showed incredible ability in VFL reserves all season, but they're just that - reserves. Is usually played as a small forward when in the red, white and black but knows how to clear the ball out of the centre. A possible replacement for Leigh Montagna if injuries occur.
Seb Ross: Shows signs of elite ability every now and then but not enough to get a consistent spot. Saints will preference Nathan Freeman over Seb any day.
Tom Hickey: Will probably be named as emergency if he isn't playing. Can swing forward so may replace Josh Bruce if need be. A decent interchange option if Saints want to play two ruckmen.
Farren Ray: Time's up for Farren as we see it. St Kilda still undecided on his future.
Daniel McKenzie, Eli Templeton, Cameron Shenton, Blake Acres, Luke Delaney and Jason Holmes won't see much of the ball this season but we won't be surprised if they are named on occasion. Father/son pick Bailey Rice will most likely sit out for the majority of the season.