On your Marks

Daniel Markworth3Daniel Markworth is committed to repaying the club’s faith in him after two injury-riddled seasons.

The athletic goal-kicking wingman was selected with pick 35 in the 2011 National Draft and spent the entire 2012 season learning the caper in the VFL.

At St Kilda’s pre-season trip to Boulder, Colorado in December of that year, Markworth tore his anterior cruciate ligament and was forced to have a season-ending knee reconstruction.

He recovered well throughout 2013 and was beginning to deliver consistent performances when his hamstring gave way halfway through this season.

Having been named as an emergency on three occasions back in 2012, Markworth said he was hungry to prove himself as an AFL footballer in 2015 after signing a one-year deal as part of #SaintsFutureFest.

“Re-signing was a no-brainer,” Markworth told SAINTS.com.au.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here so far and I feel like I have a lot to prove. Most of all, I want to give something back.

“The good thing is that I will be ready to go by pre-season. I’ve already been doing a lot of fitness work and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead… hopefully over the summer and in 2015 I can get a clean run at it and show everyone what I can do.”

Head of Football Chris Pelchen said he was looking forward to watching the 22-year-old progress after a frustrating couple of years, and suggested a senior game was a realistic ambition for 2015.

“Daniel’s versatility as a player provides real flexibility to the team’s structure and we look forward to him achieving his senior debut with the Saints,” Pelchen told SAINTS.com.au.

“Despite obvious setbacks with injury during his first three years at the Saints, Daniel has been extremely professional and persistent in his application to AFL football – impressing both his teammates and coaches alike.”

Senior coach Alan Richardson said Markworth’s best attributes would allow him to hold down key link-up positions.

“Daniel has great speed, is a very good mark and will play mostly on the wing and at half-forward,” Richardson said.

For now, Markworth is committed to ticking off a variety of hurdle objectives that he hopes will lead to a senior debut sometime over the next 12 months.

And when he gets that chance, he intends to grasp it with both hands.

“I have small personal goals like the weight I want to be and how fast I want to run my two kilometre time trial, but for me I just want to play games and prove that I was worth the three years I’ve been here,” he said.

“I’m not going to let this opportunity slip.”

But it’s not all about individual aspirations for the level-headed boy from Macedon. Despite his obvious individual intentions, Markworth remains committed to forging a strong culture built on elite training habits with his teammates.

“We all have talent, so we just need to develop that work-rate. If we do that, I’m sure we will rise up that ladder together,” he said.

“Rooey, Lenny and those older boys always talk about their journey together so there is some optimism around the club with that in mind.”