Paddy learning from the best

PADDY McCartin knows he could not find a better role model than Nick Riewoldt.

St Kilda snared McCartin with pick No.1 in last year’s NAB AFL Draft, ultimately preferring the Geelong Falcons key forward to Eastern Ranges midfield bull Christian Petracca.

The Saints’ decision was influenced, in part, by the need to groom a forward-line successor to Riewoldt.

Riewoldt, 32, has been one of his generation’s best key forwards and, despite battle-scared knees and the Saints’ poor 2014 season, was named All Australian last year for the fifth time.

No tall forward has ever worked harder than the Saints skipper, whose trademark up-and-back leads have run opponents into the ground for more than a decade.

As a No.1 draft pick himself, in 2000, Riewoldt also knows the pressures that McCartin will have to contend with as his draft class’ most-prized player.

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