As he plots a return from injury for the AFL finals, St Kilda veteran Dan Hannebery has gone in to bat for Brett Ratten's under-fire game plan.
Ratten came under the spotlight last weekend when Hawthorn master coach Alastair Clarkson queried whether his former assistant's approach could seriously trouble the competition's best sides.
But Hannebery, a key figure in the Sydney team that conquered Clarkson's Hawks in the 2012 grand final, is convinced the Saints are on the right track.
"I've been a part of a reasonably successful side in the Swans for quite a while and had a pretty bloody good coach in John Longmire," Hannebery said.
"Ratts is an amazing coach and we've got a really solid game plan."
"Having been a part of a lot of finals sides I'm confident, without being over-confident, that the game plan that the Saints coaches have is a really good one and one that's going to stack up for us."
Confident or not, Hannebery has been taken aback by how quickly a new-look Saints side with an influx of recruits has adapted to Ratten's style since the coach's appointment as Alan Richardson's successor last year.
A win over West Coast on Thursday night or Greater Western Sydney in round 18 would all but guarantee St Kilda's first finals appearance since 2011.
Hannebery is eyeing a comeback in that finals series after missing 10 games with his latest hamstring injury.
"Our improvement this year has been really solid, really impressive," he said.
"Some of the young guys have really come on and we've ... performed a bit better than I thought we would.
"That speaks to the work that the whole group and the whole club has put in."
Hannebery was part of nine finals campaigns in a decade with the Swans before moving clubs and said the experience of finals football this year, if St Kilda qualify, would be a huge boost to the developing group.
It comes as the Saints enjoy a record tally of 48,588 members this year after the club's rallying cry to help it eradicate massive debt.