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Saints look for Lee to kick on

November 18, 2014 12:34:52 UK

St Kilda hope Tom Lee can step up next season and take some of the pressure off fellow forward Nick Riewoldt.

The Saints, who are 1.75 to suffer most losses in 2015, admit they have been over-reliant on spearhead Riewoldt, but are set to put their faith in their developing forwards to raise their games.

Though they have the chance of taking the country’s best young key forward, Patrick McCartin, with the No. 1 pick at next week’s draft, they are instead set to take midfielder Christian Petracca.

Having traded away big man Rhys Stanley, list manager Ameet Bains said the Saints were confident they had enough talent in their existing forward stocks.

That group includes Spencer White, Tom Hickey, Josh Bruce and Lee who played only three games last season.

Though he has yet to make an impact at the club, Bains said he was seriously impacted this year by having reconstructive surgery on both shoulders in pre-season.

He said next year more responsibility would fall on the likes of Lee, who is 194cm, and Spencer who is 2cm taller.

Bains added: “Pleasingly for both of those guys they are having their first full, uninterrupted pre-seasons since coming to us as well, including weights training and that is obviously a key component of their strength.”

He said of Lee: “He certainly needs to take his chances more and make every post a winner. I think that has been impressed on him.”

Lee, who played in Claremont’s WAFL premiership side in both 2011 and 2012, made his Saints debut in round three of last year against Greater Western Sydney. He has 18 goals from 13 games so far.

Bains said there was an argument in favour of taking either McCartin or Peter Wright at the draft to boost the key forward stocks at St Kilda, who are 15.00 to finish in the top eight.

But he added: “Certainly the view was still to support our team picking the best player at that pick.”

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