Was it a case of divine intervention that enabled the St. Kilda Saints to ink a contract extension with Paddy McCartin ?
There are a few minor details to be worked out, but it seems likely that the Saints have secured McCartin for the next three seasons, meaning that he will walk on water until the end of 2020.
McCartin was up for grabs following this year and the Geelong Cats were on the prowl to grab McCartin and use him alongside Tom Hawkins, with the concept being that McCartin would eventually supplant Hawkins. After 11 seasons and 211 games with the Cats, Hawkins’ might be showing signs of wear, as his goal kicking has slipped a bit from the peak he posted in 2014.
St. Kilda steadfastly denied any inklings of letting McCartin get away from them, and the new extension seems to be solid proof.
McCartin has been slightly limited by a strained foot, but the club expects to integrate him into the main training group soon.
McCartin spoke confidently that his foot issues are behind him, but the former number one draft pick has had more troubling issues with concussions. His sixth concussion was sustained in June of 2017 and sidelined him for the rest of the 2017 season.
In order to justify the Saints’ faith in him, McCartin is going to need to demonstrate that he can flourish without Nick Riewoldt.
The predictions are for McCartin to slot into Coach Alan Richardson’s top 22 in time for Round 1 alongside Tim Membrey and Josh Bruce.
McCartin can be an unknown entity. He has played just 22 senior games since debuting in Round 3 of the 2015 AFL season, but if he can maintain his health, he has the sort of talent that indicates that his best footy is ahead of him and that he could shore up the forward line for the Saints for many seasons to come.
The official announcement of the new deal should be forthcoming and all parties hope the extension does not turn into a headache for McCartin or the Saints.