Rising Saint backs lift in draft age

If the list had not been 45 the Saints may not have used their final list spot to take a punt on the rookie ruckman, who was likely to be a couple of years away from being a consistent contributor.

The 24-year-old who finished second in the Saints’ best and fairest in 2019 remains, however, an advocate for lifting the draft age, having learned to fend for himself while outside the bubble.

“It’s an interesting one, especially for us taller blokes as we take longer to develop, as everyone knows,” said the 201-centimetre Marshall.

“I would be all for lifting the draft age. Going to uni and working and having all my other mates gave me a different aspect of life that I really enjoyed and gave me life skills that I took into the full-time job when I got drafted.”

But his development accelerated as soon as he arrived at the Saints, building his 85-kilogram frame into the 106-kilogram athlete he is now, something that was difficult outside the system.

”It’s just so much easier because it’s your full-time job and you are at the club every day and you have just got that time to go to the gym and do that extra touch and improve your skills,” Marshall said.

“When you are playing VFL, you are at university all day and then you rock up three nights a week when it’s freezing cold. You might train for a couple of hours and go to the gym for an hour. It’s tough because your whole day is busy.

“In a full-time environment you really drive hard and improve and that is when you see the results.”


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