'Superstar' Patty McCartin backed for breakout year

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St Kilda youngster Paddy McCartin has conquered his concussion concerns and vows to live up to the hype of becoming a "superstar of the game", teammate Jack Lonie says.

A leaner and meaner McCartin has impressed since returning to the training track after his 2017 campaign was derailed by a series of head injuries.

The 21-year-old has endured a treacherous run of six concussions since he was drafted at pick No. 1 in the 2014 draft.

His most recent head knock in June resulted in the luckless Saint sitting out the remainder of the year as the club took a cautious approach at resolving McCartin's injury woes.

Lonie told ESPN McCartin was in career-best shape and had been "training the house down" in pursuit of becoming the focal point in the Saints' forward 50.

"From what I've seen in the last few weeks, Paddy's killing it on the track," he said.

"He's a laidback character. Nothing really fazes him. When he was told he couldn't play, he put the disappointment aside and embraced it. That's what has set him up so far.

"He had a mini pre-season during the home and away season and has built on that in the off-season. He's been running personal bests [times].

"In terms of his head stuff, that's a long way behind him. He's had a lot of scans and things like that and the way he's come back has been impressive and he means business.

"For his sake I hope he steers clear from getting concussed, which would be good for us. We hope he has a good year and proves why he was the No. 1 pick and an absolute star."

Lonie meanwhile believes the Saints, who fell agonisingly short in securing their first finals berth since 2011 last season, will be propelled into September action through the likes of young guns Jack Billings and McCartin taking their games to lofty heights.

"We can't really rely on Jack Steven and Jake Carlisle. We need to grow as a team and really push for the finals," he said.

"We really need to develop our one-to-four-year boys and everyone in between. I think now our depth is significantly better to what it was two to three years ago.

"We're really building and hopefully we can pick up a couple of good players in the draft. We really want to play finals next season and once we get there hopefully we can push deep [into September]."