Horsham-raised Seb Ross, is hopeful that his St Kilda side can bounce back from a disappointing 2022 AFL season, that saw them finish outside the top-eight.
The Saints finished the year in tenth, but had high hopes for consecutive finals appearances after winning an elimination final in 2020.
The side started to recapture their 2020 form late in the season securing promising wins over Fremantle and Sydney, however it was too late as they finished one win and a significant percentage difference behind eighth-placed Essendon.
"In the back end of the year we started to find our form," Ross said.
"We still had so many chances to sneak into the finals race but it just seemed every time where we got to that hurdle where we needed to win one, we just couldn't get the job done. Which was disappointing.
"It's sort of a big learning year and hopefully we can bounce next year."
On the field the two-time Trevor Barker Medalist had another consistent year playing 20 games and averaging 21 disposals. Because of injuries to key players like, Jack Billings and Dan Hannebery, Ross had to play in a somewhat new role for his side.
"I was filling gaps quite a bit across half-forward and out on the wing and then playing inside mid-when they needed me too," Ross said.
"I played most of the year out on the wing (injuries). It's quite an unrewarding role, the wing.
"I sat down in my exit meeting and the coaches were happy with my year and I had a pretty consistent year again."
Earlier in the year, Ross and Saints' forward Tim Membrey were the subject of intense scrutiny for their decision to leave St Kilda's Sydney hub to return to their families in Melbourne; Ross' wife Marnie had just given birth to their twin boys, while Membrey's pregnant wife was due to give birth soon.
The pair subsequently missed the Saints round 13 loss to Adelaide, with AFL journalist Caroline Wilson criticising them for their decision to leave ahead of such an important game.
"It was a pretty strange one," Ross said.
"If I had a choice I wouldn't have wanted Marnie and I to deal with that, particularly at the time.
"They were four weeks premature the boys and Marnie and I were literally just trying to get a handle on how to be parents of twins and a toddler.
"In terms of our own parenting it was quite a challenging time to try and figure out how to handle that all.
"I definitely felt the need at the time to come home and support Marnie. It was all unnecessary really to have to be dealing with that when we were dealing with enough I thought.
"But (I'm) really proud of the way Marnie was able to handle it. As long as her and the kids were ok, then I was ok."
As for the former Horsham Demon's playing future he is currently an unrestricted free agent heading into next season. Fox Sports reported last month that the 28-year-old was "weighing up" his future at the Saints and that he had been offered a "two-year-deal with triggers for a third season".
"It's all going well, it's an interesting time this time of year. I'm actually coming out of contract this year, but I reckon for the last four years that I've been in contract I've seen my name thrown up," Ross said.
"It seems like the media will just throw in names to see if they can get a bite here and there.
"I'm pretty comfortable with where everything sits with the club at the moment."