ST KILDA defender Sam Gilbert says there will definitely be more occasions when Saints players lend a hand at Sebastopol in the future.
Visiting Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday to lend a hand as an assistant coach, along with first-year player Eli Templeton, Gilbert said it was important the growing link between the AFL club and Sebastopol remained strong.
Despite watching the Sebas Saints (as they were known for the day) go down by 83 points at the hands of Ballarat, Gilbert said he saw bright signs for the future of the troubled club.
Sebastopol has not won a match since 2012, a season in which it only managed one victory for the year.
"I think it's great, I think the Saints should do more of this sort of stuff, we have similar sponsors and today they wore a bit of red, white and black, I think it will go a long way to keeping country footy popular," Gilbert told The Courier.
"I definitely think it will happen again, we've got people at the club who really want to get behind it.
"As a player, and I know the other boys are the same, we enjoy getting down and seeing footy at this level."
Gilbert worked mainly with the backline throughout the day, passing on advice and experienced gathered from his 140 AFL games.
"I think they're on the right track but they have to continually work hard, I spoke to a few boys about getting everyone down to training and I think if they can consolidate this year and get a good pre-season game in they can definitely win a few games next year," Gilbert said.
"I enjoyed coming down to Ballarat and watching the boys play, they put up a good fight and hopefully they can get a win soon.
"I'm from the Gold Coast so it's a bit different to be standing in the rain and the mud so it's good to see the way country footy is played out here."
Gilbert currently has an injured foot and is expected to be back playing in about a month.