Maverick approach works wonders with Saints
Maverick Weller jokingly says he will be in the ear of Gold Coast wantaway Jaeger O'Meara to try to entice him to St Kilda.
"He's a great mate of mine. I don't think I'd be doing my job properly if I didn't," Weller, himself a former Sun, told Australian Regional Media with a laugh.
O'Meara, who won the Rising Star Award in 2013 before missing the past two seasons due to a torn patella tendon, notified the Suns on Thursday that he would be seeking a trade at season's end.
"Jaeg's obviously a fantastic player. He seems to have gotten over his injury problems," said Weller, who played with him in 2013.
"He's a leader, and a really good person. I reckon wherever he goes, he has a big career ahead of him. But, that's out of my control."
A move to St Kilda is unlikely. And besides, O'Meara or no O'Meara, the Saints are already flush with young talent, such as Jade Gresham, continuing to emerge, not to mention other mature-age recruits such as ex-Swan Tim Membrey thriving in the Saints environment.
Weller's own move to St Kilda has worked wonders for the 24-year-old former Tasmanian. Gold Coast delisted the solidly built half-forward after he played 32 games in three seasons.
He was given a second chance as a rookie-listing by the Saints, and has gone on to play another 57 games in the next three years, including all 21 in 2016.
"It's been a breath of fresh air ever since I walked in the door," said Weller, who has kicked 24 goals while averaging 16 disposals a game this season.
"The club has given me every opportunity to play footy and be the best that I can. I'll be forever thankful.
"I've loved my time down here. It couldn't have gone any smoother."
From being a part of just one win in 2014, Weller has been enjoying the ride the rebuilding Saints are on up the ladder - there were six wins and a draw in 2015 followed by 11 wins and a chance to make it 12 when they host Brisbane tomorrow.
"We have spoken about having a positive win-loss record," he said, but added the side was more concerned with things like "pressure ratings", and how easily the opposition moved the ball.
"We felt that was something we could really control with our effort," he said. "We put that into our planning and we really focused on that. Obviously the wins have come after that."
The Saints have won nine of their past 13 games to sit ninth - albeit still a game and percentage behind North Melbourne heading into the final round. "We're really pleased with how our season has gone," Weller said.
"This is a pass grade for us, but it's not to take the foot off the accelerator.
"It's just the start of a journey for us. We obviously want to play finals and in premierships.
"Next year we need to take another step ahead.
"We just want to improve our footy and give ourselves every opportunity at sustained success.
"Consistent effort ... we'll drive that over the summer."