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HE'S the son of former St Kilda and Brisbane star Gilbert, but Charlie McAdam has arrived at Sandringham intent on forging his own reputation in Victorian football.

The 22-year-old left-footer landed in Melbourne three weeks ago and phoned Zebras general manager John Mennie asking if he could train with the VFL club.

Sandy signed him after one session.

They did their home work, noting McAdam had played at two national Under 18 championships.

Family ties to Sandringham's AFL affiliate St Kilda tempted him to the Trevor Barker Oval.

Father Gilbert played 53 matches for the Saints and uncle Greg 10.

McAdam says being the son of a former top-liner produces expectations, but he's never felt burdened by them.

"People sort of want you to be as good as your old man,'' he said.

"I sort of block it out, never really let it bother me.

"I know I've got to do my own thing. I've come to Sandringham knowing I've got to work from the ground up, just like any other player new to the club.''

The midfielder/flanker emerged through the Darwin Buffaloes and had a stint with North Adelaide as a 17-year-old.

He turned out for South Australia at the 2008 Under 18 nationals and for the NT as an over-age player in 2009.

After a few games with the NT Thunder in the Queensland state league, the midfielder/flanker hooked up with North Albury in the strong Ovens and Murray competition in 2011.

He was runner-up in the best and fairest in his first year but had knee troubles in his second.

"Silky, smooth and terrifyingly efficient,'' Border Mail scribe Jake Bourke wrote of McAdam.

"The son of former St Kilda champ Gilbert is all class when he gets the ball in his hands. Deceptively quick and one of the hardest players to tackle in the league.''

McAdam said he moved to Melbourne to try to improve his football and "hopefully go on to bigger and better things''.

His father, he said, had given him some advice. "He's happy with what I've done but he just said to me, 'Head down, bum up and work hard'. That's what I'll be doing.''

Sandringham has also signed eight Sandringham Dragons graduates Kenny Ong, Cameron Banfield, Zac Gibson, Mitch Howes, Joel McKee, Matt Taylor, Pat Tiernan and Yilber Zajai.

But it missed out on Chris Mangoni and Tom Tyquin (both are with Collingwood's VFL squad) and best and fairest Michael Barnes (Port Melbourne).