At a glance:
- Jack Steele and Dan Butler have been selected in the 2020 All-Australian squad.
- The pair become the first Saints to be named in the squad since 2017, and could be the first St Kilda representatives in the final team since Nick Riewoldt in 2014.
- The 2020 All-Australian team will be announced on Thursday 24 September.
Jack Steele and Dan Butler’s outstanding home-and-away seasons have been capped off with selection in the All-Australian 40-man squad.
The prestigious honour gives official recognition to their standout campaigns, which have been instrumental in the Saints’ rise up the ladder.
Selection for either Steele or Butler would see them become the first St Kilda representatives since five-time inductee Nick Riewoldt in 2014.
Dylan Roberton and Seb Ross (2017) were the last Saints to feature in the extended squad.
Steele has led in all facets after being unleashed as a bona fide two-way player, racking up plenty of footy with his customary ferocity and unwavering work ethic.
The 24-year-old topped the Saints’ numbers for disposals (376), clearances (90), tackles (94), inside-50s (54) and ground-ball gets (117), plus in excess of 100 more pressure acts than second-placed Butler.
Steele’s goalkicking similarly elevated, with the No. 9 joining Jack Billings as St Kilda’s only full-time midfielders to kick over 10 goals during the year.
Today’s All-Australian nomination adds to the emerging leader’s string of potential accolades, including the AFL Players’ Association MVP and a podium finish in the AFL Coaches’ Association Champion Player of the Year.
He’s also a frontrunner for this year’s Trevor Barker Award and is expected to poll well at this year’s Brownlow Medal count.
Meanwhile, Butler's addition into St Kilda’s line-up has been electric.
After being received from Richmond in exchange for pick No. 56, the Premiership Tiger ignited the Saints’ offensive end to become one of the most dangerous small forwards in the league.
Butler took out club goalkicking honours (27) in his first season at RSEA Park and was highly regarded internally, externally and statistically for his elite pressure, tackling and creativity around goal.
The 24-year-old slotted multiple majors on nine occasions, with a match-winning four-goal bag against Gold Coast – a career-best – arguably his most dynamic performance in red, white and black.
The 2020 All-Australian side will be announced on Thursday 24 September.