ST KILDA midfielder Seb Ross believes the future is bright at the Saints.
The former Horsham footballer has played 10 of the club’s 20 AFL games this season.
Ross, 21, said the club was undergoing a redevelopment phase under first-year coach Alan Richardson.
“I’m still loving it down at the Saints,” he said.
“Richo is a really approachable guy. He’s really honest and I’m enjoying playing under him.
“We’ve still got a fair few younger guys – it’s a year where we’re trying to really build for the future.”
Ross was selected by the Saints with pick number 25 in the 2011 national draft.
He said the majority of the playing group had joined the club in the past three years and was building around its leaders including Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna.
“We’re still a pretty young group but the future looks pretty exciting,” he said.
“We’ve got some great leaders among the older boys really driving the club.
“I think the fans should be pretty excited about what we can achieve in the next few years.”
Ross returned to the Saints line-up on Sunday after a successful two-week stint in the VFL, where he was the match-winner in Sandringham’s 13-point victory against Richmond on August 2.
The left-footer had previously strung together seven consecutive AFL matches between rounds 11 and 17, which included a career-high 28 disposals against Geelong in round 13.
Ross collected 19 disposals as the Saints went down to the Western Bulldogs by 23 points in Hayes’ tribute game at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
He said Hayes had been influential in his development, and that of fellow young players such as Luke Dunstan.
“Blokes like us will keep trying to learn as much off him before the end of the year,” he said.
“I’ve got the locker next to Lenny.
“He’s always been a good role model to look up to and work with.”
Ross, who has remained injury-free this season, said he was pleased with what he had achieved in 2014.
“I strung a few good games together there,” he said.
“Since coming out of the AFL side I’ve wanted to get back in as soon as possible.”
Ross has now played 24 games at AFL level and is averaging 15.9 disposals a game this season.