BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Zak Jones of the Saints kicks during the AFL Second Elimination Final match between the St Kilda Saints and the Western Bulldogs at The Gabba on October 03, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

It is no secret that just four weeks ago the Saints were far from thinking about the top eight.

An 111-point loss to the Bulldogs and late fallings to the Crows and Swans had fans holding on to little-to-no hope.

However, despite mass disbelief surrounding the club, recent events have allowed the Saints to completely turn their season around.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 03: Jack Steele and his Saints team mates look dejected after losing the round 3 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the St Kilda Saints at Marvel Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

So do St Kilda actually have what it takes to make the eight?

With the race to make the eight heating up, surprising wins against the reigning premiers and the Brisbane Lions have left the Saints as top contenders in stealing the last spots for September.

Saints midfielder Zak Jones commends such newfound hope on the younger generation of saints.

"We’ve got younger players stepping up and that’s pushing our senior players to make sure they’re stepping up too. When you have all 18 to 22 players playing their role, it really shows in our football" Jones told

Players such as Max King are the embodiment of hope for the saints.

AFL Rd 4 - St Kilda v West Coast
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Max King of the Saints celebrates a goal during the round four AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the West Coast Eagles at Marvel Stadium on April 10, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

After struggling to find confidence up front, King has kicked seven goals in his past three matches, including three in seven minutes against one of the competition's best tall defenders in Harris Andrews on the weekend.

Mature-aged defensive recruit, Tom Highmore, also continues to shine up the other end of the field, completing a team-high nine intercepts from 16 disposals on the weekend.

Whilst the Saints' youth continue to play a massive role in the club's success, the return of the Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall ruck duo is arguably the Saints' best chance at making finals.

Since Marshall returned in Round 15, St Kilda have not lost a game.

Ryder has made it clear that he is the best player (he) can be with Rowan Marshall in the side.

"He complements my game so much and makes it easier for me to play football,” Ryder said on the Sounds of the Saints podcast.

With the excellence of Jack Steele also not to be overlooked, the Saints' current form is looking to be a prime chance at making the eight and gatecrashing the hopes of their close rivals.

Whilst currently in ninth position on the ladder, Ratten's team are set for a challenging ride home - facing four current top-eight sides in their final stretch.

Yet with the team taking surprise wins away from both Richmond and Brisbane, can the Saints find themselves in September for a second-straight year?

St Kilda's fight continues this Saturday as they take on Port Adelaide at Marvel stadium, a must-win clash for both sides.