Boom recruit Brad Hill says St Kilda will persist with a free-flowing and attacking game plan when the AFL season kicks back into gear next week.
The Saints showed glimpses of fast and effective ball movement in round one, with former Fremantle and Hawthorn wingman Hill at the forefront, displaying plenty of his trademark flair.
But an ultimately inconsistent display and wasted chances in front of goal led to the Saints coughing up a healthy lead and being overrun by North Melbourne in a narrow two-point defeat.
Hill insisted the performance and result had not spooked the Saints, who spent the two-month shutdown period reinforcing their strategy for Brett Ratten’s first full season at the helm.
They will stick to their guns when the 2020 campaign reboots against the Western Bulldogs on June 14.
“You could ask nearly every player here about the freedom that Ratts gives us,” Hill said.
“He wants you to go out there and play on instinct.
“That’s the good thing about Ratts; he wants us to take the game on and play to our strengths.”
Hill, 26, was afforded similar freedom in three seasons at Fremantle under Ross Lyon, but has noted one key difference at St Kilda since being granted his trade wish at the end of last year.
“I have had it a little bit when I was at Freo but here Ratts has given that freedom to everyone,” Hill said.
St Kilda have a clean slate on the injury front heading into the Bulldogs clash, with Jade Gresham (knee) and Ben Long (ankle) recovered from injuries sustained during round one.
On the second day of winter, Hill revealed that he treats a quirky ailment on a daily basis during the colder months.
It won’t stop him from taking to the field, but was a minor concern for his recent plunge into icy water as an ambassador for Neale Daniher’s FightMND cause.
The sixth annual ‘Big Freeze’ event will be broadcast on Monday.
“I’m allergic to the cold so I take an antihistamine every day,” Hill said.
“I wasn’t actually too bad the day I jumped into the ice water, but it was pretty cold.
“I get a real red face and my fingers swell up and stuff. It’s weird.
“When I never used to take (antihistamine tablets) I used to get it real bad, even when I jumped in the ice baths and with the grass in cold weather.”