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Friday, May 14, 2021

Canberra’s Jack Steele named St Kilda Saints co-captain

Former Belconnen Magpie footballer, Jack Steele, has been named co-captain of the St Kilda Saints for the 2021 AFL season.

After a breakout 2020 season, Steele joins Jarryn Geary as the men chosen by the players and football department to lead the Saints this season.

It will mark Steele’s first leadership role at the club and he said he was honoured to be named co-captain alongside Geary.

“I’m really grateful to have been given this honour, it’s a true privilege,” Steele said. 

“When you walk through the Hall of Fame at RSEA Park and see names like Frawley, Harvey, Barker and Baldock, it’s really humbling to now be continuing their legacy.

“To have Gears alongside me is also really special.

“He’s really taken me under his wing, and I’ve learned so much from him since joining the club.

“His leadership is second to none, not just his voice on-field, but also how he rallies the group off it. 

“I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from him, while also getting stuck into all the responsibilities of being an AFL captain.” 

The 25-year-old was originally drafted to the GWS Giants as an academy player in the 2014 AFL Draft from the Belconnen Magpies and NSW/ACT Rams TAC Cup under 18s.

The Canberran was then traded to the Saints at the end of the 2016 season where he has since flourished.

Steele polled third in the club’s best and fairest award (Trevor Barker Award) in 2018 and 2019.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jack Steele of the Saints celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 18 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at The Gabba on September 18, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Jack Steele elevated himself to the elite level in 2020. Getty

However, it was the 2020 season that saw him put his name alongside the best midfielders in the league.

Steele finished equal third in the Brownlow Medal, received his first All-Australian honour, and won the Trevor Barker Award as he helped the club reach finals for the first time since 2011.

Steele and Geary will be joined in the leadership group by new vice-captains Dougal Howard and Tim Membrey, along with Seb Ross, Jack Billings and Callum Wilke.

Geary said he has spoken to Steele about being a leader over the past few seasons.

“Jack and I have caught up quite regularly over the past few years to talk about his role as a leader among the group,” Geary said. 

“We’re both strong believers that it’s not your title that makes you a leader, it’s how you act, and we want to be a leadership group that values the opinion of all our teammates.”

St Kilda Saints coach Brett Ratten paid tribute to Geary and said Steele’s appointment shows the club is on the way up.

“Jarryn has been huge, as has David Rath and Jarryd Roughead, in really driving our values and standards among the players.  

“He’s been a fantastic captain for many years, and the fact he was voted in again is testament to how his teammates feel about him.  

“The addition of Jack is a nice balance, and it really shows the direction this group is heading moving forward, which is really exciting.” 

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