MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 13: Paddy McCartin of the Saints celebrates after kicking a goal during the round 21 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

St Kilda forward Josh Bruce bagged seven goals during the Saints’ demolition of Carlton during their JLT Community Series match last weekend, but it was the performance of fellow key forward Paddy McCartin that excited Bruce the most.

The 20-year-old played up the field against Carlton and took a game-high 12 marks, and was one of St Kilda’s best in their rout of the Blues.

With Bruce, Membrey and McCartin cementing themselves in the St Kilda forward line, Bruce is looking forward to seeing just what the former number one draft pick can do in 2017.

“Traditionally Paddy’s played a little bit deeper than Tim (Membrey) and myself, just purely based around our running capacity,” Bruce – who kicked seven goals against the Blues – said on SEN.

“But on the weekend I played a little bit deeper than Paddy and he played really well.

“He’s a beautiful field kick and he’s played forward his whole life … he just seems a real natural fit around that centre half-forward type area.

“We’re going to keep mixing it up and we’ve got some really quality smalls at our feet as well.”

Bruce also didn’t hide away from the topic of finals for St Kilda, but did admit they do need to become a more consistent side.

“I think the most important thing for us to progress is to bridge the gap between our best and our worst football,” he said.

“Last year we had some pretty terrible losses on the road, we got spanked by West Coast and Adelaide wasn’t much better. History says if you win more games on the road, and you win more than you lose, you play finals, so that would be our next step.”