Former St Kilda star Nick Dal Santo has questioned the way Jack Billings was deployed by the Saints last season.
Billings lost his place in the senior side during the 2018 campaign after coach Alan Richardson lost patience with the former No. 3 draft pick after an indifferent start to the season.
Dal Santo still has high hopes for the 23-year-old and believes he must play predominantly as a forward in order to maximise his strengths.
“There’s a certain player that I feel like I’ve tried to defend – Jake Billings,” Dal Santo told SEN Breakfast.
“I love the way Jack Billings plays his football and what he could be.
"I was frustrated for him at times last year as I felt he wasn’t played in his best position where he could utilise his best qualities, being his ball use, his field kicking and his decision making.
“Go back two years he was averaging 22-to-23 disposals as a half-forward, kicked something like 20 goals 40 (behinds).
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“You turn that around, I know that it’s up to Jack to get his kicking right for goal, if it’s 60/40 and his kicking 40 goals 20 for the year – he’s arguably an All-Australian as a small half forward, I think he’s that good.
“He needs to really have a breakout year, he’s the one that can step up and have a significant impact on not only the forward line, but the midfield, he can go through that midfield and pinch-hit.”
Billings, who is out-of-contract at the end of the 2019 season, has stated his desire to spend more time in the Saints' midfield this year.
Listen to the best of SEN Breakfast with Nigel Carmody and Nick Dal Santo in the player below