With so much experience departing St Kilda in the past 12 months, dashing defender Shane Savage is one player who has focused on improving his leadership this summer.
Before club greats Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna called time on their decorated careers after the final game of the year, stalwart defender Sean Dempster was forced to retire at the start of the season, removing 845 games of experience in the space of a winter.
After fighting back from a slow start in 2017, Savage finished the season in blistering form and has carried that momentum through the pre-season.
And now, the 27-year-old is determined to elevate his leadership during a time of change at Linen House Centre.
“Leadership has definitely been a focus of mine this summer,” Savage told saints.com.au from St Kilda’s pre-season camp at Geelong Grammar.
“Obviously we’ve lost a lot of experience.
“I’m a ten-year veteran now, so that experience will definitely come in handy, especially with such a young backline.
“Brandon White and Bailey Rice are on the rise, so helping players like them and others develop them is pretty important for the club.”
While Savage finished last season with a full head of steam, the former Hawk didn’t rest on his laurels over the off-season.
“I tried a few different things in the off-season,” he said.
“I borrowed a watt bike from the club and I wanted to do about 1000km on it before I went back and I was able to get that.
“I thought that was a really good way to build that resilience, build that continuity and I think it’s really helped me throughout the off-season.”
Story – saints.com.au