ST Kilda is showing faith in Rowan Marshall to lead its ruck brigade after re-signing the Hampden league export on a three-year deal.
Marshall, 23, has played 22 games for the Saints since arriving at AFL level as a mature-age prospect via the 2016 rookie draft.
The Portland talent has featured in nine of the Saints' 11 games this season, averaging 16 disposals and 26 hitouts.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels talent manager Phil Partington worked with the 201-centimetre Marshall during his NAB League career and knew he'd thrive in an elite environment.
"Boys develop at different stages and Rowan was a tall young lad but with his genetics we knew he'd be a big man like his dad," he said.
"He grew into his body and got stronger."
Partington said Marshall, who was one of seven Hampden prospects drafted in 2016, was the epitome of hard work, having driven countless hours as a teenager from Portland to training in Ballarat.
"It (the new contract) is a credit to how hard he has worked," he said.
"He has taken a while to cement his spot at St Kilda but you can see his confidence is growing and he's a joy to watch."
Partington said Marshall endeared himself to coaches, players and supporters.
"You can see how proud he is of the town of Portland and how proud Portland is of Rowan," he said.
"He's a very level-headed young man and popular. He's always smiling and that's one of his great assets."
Marshall said he was rapt to extend his stay at St Kilda.
"I've loved my time at the Saints so far and am stoked to have signed this new deal," he told the club's website.
"I feel like I've really learned a lot during my time, especially the past eight months or so, and I'm excited to keep growing and learning.
"I really believe in what we're building and I'm looking forward to being part of it."
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