MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 30: Jake Carlisle of the Saints celebrates a goal during the round two AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on March 30, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle says the current St Kilda list is in the best shape he has seen it since her arrived at the club.

Carlisle said the growing experience of younger players and the pool of new recruits has the Saints poised to take some significant steps.

The Saints haven’t played finals since 2011 and the former Bomber believes the club hasn’t had a better opportunity than now.

“We’ve got guys come in the off-season, but we’ve got guys who have played together for two or three years now. We’ve got the right people to help us win games,” he told AFL Media. 

The 28-year-old is close to resuming full training after an injury-riddled 2019, his name was thrown around in the trade period but he says he never had any intention of leaving, “I was never going anywhere.”

Carlisle took part in match simulation on Monday and says that second-year forward Max King is the forward he least likes matching up against.

“He’s looking really good… he’s fit, he’s strong and i think his knee’s been pretty good.

“I don’t like playing on him at training… he’s going to be a pretty good player.”

New Saint recruits Brad Hill, Zak Jones, Dougal Howard, Paddy Ryder, Dan Butler and Ryan Abbott all played in the scratch match.

Dan Hannebery left the match early to do an individual running session.