AFTER a gritty victory Koroit coach Chris McLaren feels more comfortable about bringing in fringe players to cover the holes left by key personal who are missing from his best 21.
The Saints celebrated the unfurling of their fifth Hampden league premiership flag at Victoria Park with an 11.17 (83) to 9.8 (62) victory over Camperdown on Saturday.
McLaren said the club's two senior sides were missing 15 players from their starting line-ups, through injury and unavailability.
The Saints' top side was without the services of key-forward Jarrod Korewha (finger), Liam Hoy (concussion), James Gow (VFL) and Tom Couch (unavailable).
The premiership coach said the missing stars presented a chance for some different faces to stand in the spotlight.
"It was a great opportunity to get some game time into some of our younger boys, who have put a lot of time in and probably haven't played as many games as potentially they should or could have," McLaren said.
"It was good for those boys to experience a game like that, where they really have to grind it out and work awfully hard to get over the line."
Reserves captain Ben Sinnott, who kicked a goal in his first game, Seamus Brady, Frazer Robb, Connor Hinkley, who was back from the Greater Western Victoria Rebels this week, Clem Nagorcka and Liam O'Sullivan all got a chance to impress.
"It was really good for them to experience a game where it's much harder to get a result when you've got your top end not playing so you have to play a more important role, with more minutes on better players," McLaren said.
The Saints mentor said he would need to slightly adjust the focus of training after his side kicked 17 behinds in the 21-point victory.
Camperdown co-coach Neville Swayn said his side had plenty to learn after Koroit forced it to shift away from its style of play.
"We went away from the way we want to play in certain parts of the game, which is credit to them because they make you do that," he said. "The main thing is we can't go away from what we do well."
Fellow first-year Magpies mentor Jack Williams said new faces in Bayley Thompson and PJ Manivong were starting to adjust to life in the Hampden league.
"They have both settled in beautifully like anyone who comes into this club," the half-back flanker said.
"It's a family club and everyone gets around everyone and the way we play is suiting PJ and Bayley because it's a fast type of game, because we are lacking a bit of height."
The pair said there were similarities in how the Magpies played under former coach Phil Carse and how the side's gameplan looks this season.
"With your personnel you have to play with what you have got so there are some tweaks in there with what our strengths now are," Swayn said.
Williams and Swayn both agreed the side's defence was the key to it coming so close to an upset victory away from Leura Oval.
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