AARON Hamill was at St Kilda when Blake Acres’ career started in the red, white and black.
A fair amount of time has passed since then, not least Acres’ three-year stint at Fremantle, before he became a Blue in the 2022 trade period.
Now reunited with the wingman at IKON Park, Hamill has loved what he has seen from the recruit.
Speaking last week, Hamill said Acres had taken his game to another level since they were last at the same club.
“I was involved with Blake’s career at the Saints and he always had the attributes with his power and his running capacity when I was down there,” Hamill said.
“He has matured as a person and as a footballer. He has fit in really well, there was never going to be an issue with that.
“It was a great effort from our recruiting crew to get him over the line.”
Taking charge of the backline, Hamill also oversees team’s defensive setup as a whole, extending far beyond just the back six.
It’s Acres’ adherence and commitment to the team’s structure which has stood out under Hamill’s watchful eye.
“He’s driving the group in terms of preparation and system quite strongly,” he said.
“Watching him from afar at Fremantle and how he cemented his spot there on the wing, he gives you a point of difference around stoppages.
“He comes from a good system in Freo’s defence, and his nous around the ground has improved 10 fold since I first met Blake.”