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Captain Jarryn Geary is also continuing to lift his work rate, having battled a calf niggle, and the Saints believe he is likely to play in at least one of the pre-season matches.

Geary had a wretched 2019, having required four operations in a two-month span, the last when he broke his fibula against Port Adelaide in Shanghai in round 11.

He has yet to be confirmed as skipper for the new season, with the club expected to announce the captain and leadership group next week.

Dual best and fairest Seb Ross is another firm contender for the role, having deputised for Geary in recent seasons and impressed with the manner in which he retained his stellar form while also supporting teammates. The Saints have made it clear internally they are not keen on co-captains.

Key forward Tim Membrey, midfielder Dan Hannebery and Roberton also comprised the leadership group last season.

Paddy McCartin continues to work in the gym and is running laps – importantly pulling up without headaches – in a year in which he hopes to recover from the head knocks which have derailed his career.

McCartin, 23, was delisted by the Saints last year in an agreement between the club and player because of his ongoing concussion issues. But the former No.1 draft pick hopes to revive his career in 2021 and, all going well, he will be redrafted, either by St Kilda or a rival club.