With St Kilda's 2020 season coming to a close, the club will acknowledge the stellar efforts of the incredible year that's been and crown this year's Trevor Barker Award winner.

There are several Saints in line for the club's most prestigious individual honour, with All-Australian midfielder Jack Steele firming as a hot favourite to snare his first major club accolade.

But with superb seasons from recruits Dan ButlerPaddy Ryder and Dougal Howard, plus breakout years from young defenders Hunter ClarkBen Paton and Nick Coffield, tonight's count could see a similarly deserving Saint rewarded. 

In a year unlike any other, St Kilda's night of nights will also continue the trend, with this year's ceremony set to take place at the club's Noosa hub this evening.

Members will be able to watch the event live through the details communicated via email, while a replay of the event will be available for all fans in the coming days.

Jack Steele

Season averages: 22 disposals, 11 contested possessions, five clearances, five tackles
Best game: Round 13 v Brisbane, 25 disposals, 10 tackles, six inside-50s, one goal
Key stat: First for St Kilda's disposals, contested possessions, clearances, tackles, pressure acts, inside-50s and score involvements

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

After two successive podium finishes at the Trevor Barker Award in 2018 and 2019, Jack Steele is unsurprisingly in pole position to take out his first Trevor Barker Award off the back of a career-best season.

The 24-year-old midfielder was unshackled from his full-time tagging duties in 2020 and was unleashed as a genuine two-way midfielder to wreak havoc week after week.

While his strength, physicality and ferocity continued to shine through like previous years, the chart-topping Saint took a massive leap with his inside prowess and added regular scoreboard impact (10 goals) to his ever-expanding armoury.

Steele was among the red, white and black's best almost every week, and although the hunter found himself as the hunted several times throughout the year, rarely had his colours lowered. 

Rewarded with his first All-Australian blazer – the first St Kilda player to do so since 2014 – and with top-five finishes in the AFL Players' Association MVP and AFL Coaches' Association Champion Player of the Year Award in recognition of his head-turning year, a maiden Trevor Barker Award isn't too far out of reach for the superhero Saint.

        JACK STEELE        
  D I50 CP CLR GBG T PA  
  417 62 210 29 128 104 424  
00:48 Mins
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Steele back to his best

Jack Steele went head to head with one of the games most inform players on Thursday night and was right up for the challenge.

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Dan Butler

Season averages: 11 disposals, four tackles, four score involvements, three inside-50s, 1.5 goals
Best game: Round 11 v Gold Coast, 13 disposals, four goals, four tackles
Key stat: First for St Kilda's goals and tackles inside-50s, second for tackles, score involvements, goal assists and pressure acts

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

Where to begin with Dan Butler.

A cheap-as-chips trade to secure the Premiership Tiger in last year's trade period proved to be one of the Saints' most damaging assets in 2020, with his monumental impact on games taking everyone – internally and externally – by surprise. 

Lightning-quick, brilliant through his front-and-centre work and off the charts in forward pressure, the small forward packed a consistent punch to keep both opposition defences on red alert and his team on the right side of the ledger.

Butler took out club goalkicking honours in his first season at St Kilda (27 goals) with nine multiple-goal outings and was incredibly stiff to miss out on a place in the All-Australian side after being named in the squad as one of two small forwards.

It's been an incredible story for the Tiger-turned-Saint, and one which could be even better with a Trevor Barker Award around his neck tonight.

        DAN BUTLER        
  D G T TI50 SI GA I50  
  205 29 74 37 81 10 53  

 

01:37 Mins
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Butler turns it on under Thursday night lights

Dan Butler is evolving into one dangerous small forward after another phenomenal performance including four freakish goals.

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Dougal Howard

Season averages: 11 disposals, seven one-percenters, seven spoils, four marks
Best game: Elimination final v Western Bulldogs, 20 disposals, 15 rebound-50s, 604 metres gained, 10 one-percenters, six marks
Key stat: First for St Kilda's one-percenters and spoils, second for rebound-50s, third for effective kicks

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

Lauded as the steal of the trade period heading into the new year, the highly-rated Dougal Howard delivered on the lofty expectations to become the lynchpin of St Kilda's backline.

Taking charge of the young defensive unit with just 45 games to his name, the former Port swingman entrenched himself as both a leader of the club and a first-class force to grapple with some of the competition's most dangerous forwards.

Howard's trademark spoils, one-percent plays and clean use repelled opposition onslaughts time after time as his on-field direction helped his new teammates thrive.

A herculean performance in last fortnight's elimination final (20 disposals, 15 rebound-50s, 10 one-percenters) was the perfect example, with plenty of other starring performances – one notably against his old side – adding to his highlights reel from year one as a Saint.

Now, there's a very strong possibility he could be right up there to take home the club's most prestigious honour.

        DOUGAL HOWARD        
  D SP 1% R50 M IM EK  
  198 123 138 66 76 30 132  
00:35 Mins
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RD 7 | Dashing Dougal kicks his first

Dougal Howard deftly slots a major from 55m.

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Paddy Ryder

Season averages: 21 hit-outs, 34.6% hit-outs to advantage, two marks, one goal
Best game: Round 8 v Port Adelaide, 29 hit-outs, 10 disposals, two goals
Key stat: First for St Kilda's hit-outs and hit-outs to advantage, equal-first for score launches

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

Coming from Port Adelaide during St Kilda's jaw-dropping trade period as a 31-year-old ruckman to support and help develop Rowan Marshall, no-one anticipated the on-field impact Paddy Ryder would have in the Saints' drought-breaking rise to finals.

Determined to make a point after being shown the door at Alberton, Ryder made waves at his third club and was a pivotal figure for the young side daring to make the top-eight.

First-class tapwork and dominance above his shoulders punctuated the All-Australian ruckman's year, with his clinical ruck craft all around the clock gifting St Kilda's on-ballers pristine use.

Ryder boasted one of the best hit-outs to advantage rates in the league by season's end (34.6%) and backed up his elite impact on the scoreboard with 10 goals – six of which came from his last five games of the year.

A hamstring tendon injury cruelly ruled the veteran out of a semi-final berth, but without his mammoth efforts throughout the year and in the elimination finals, an October berth would have remained a dream.

        PADDY RYDER        
  D HO HOA G CLR CM SI  
  113 292 101 10 28 10 54  
02:06 Mins
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Ryder and Rowan walk tall

Ruck duo Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall put on a show at Adelaide Oval combining for four goals between them and a marvellous display of ruck craft.

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Nick Coffield

Season averages: 15 disposals, seven marks, six intercepts, three rebound-50s, two intercept marks 
Best game: Round 16 v Hawthorn, 21 disposals (95% efficiency), 11 marks, two rebound-50s
Key stat: First for St Kilda's marks, intercept marks and intercepts, second for effective kicks, third for rebound-50s, equal-third for effective disposals

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

Brett Ratten showed a lot of faith in St Kilda's young back six all throughout the year, and Nick Coffield thrived as a result. 

The 20-year-old defender was sublime after coming into the senior side post-restart, commanding the airwaves through his glittering intercept plays and safe hands well beyond his years.

Coffield was one of only five players to reel in 100 marks or more during the home-and-away season and was the youngest of the high-tier list to do so.

While intercept marking remains the young Saint's forte, frequent clean use and an aptitude for match-winning patches have the No. 1 locked in as one of the most important defenders in the line-up.

Coffield was selected in the AFL Players' Association 22Under22 side earlier this year, but could have a top finish in this year's Trevor Barker Award to add to his growing resumé.

        NICK COFFIELD        
  D M IM R50 SP EK I  
  273 117 43 53 30 141 102  
03:52 Mins
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EF | Watch the last two minutes

Relive the thrilling final moments between the Bulldogs and the Saints

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Callum Wilkie

Season averages: 13 disposals, eight effective kicks, four rebound-50s, three spoils
Best game: Round 10 v Gold Coast, 18 disposals, six marks (three contested), four rebound-50s, four one-percenters
Key stat: First for St Kilda's rebound-50s and effective kicks, second for one-percenters and spoils, third for intercept marks

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

If year one for Callum Wilkie was exceptional, then year two was concrete evidence that it wasn't just a fluke.

Dubbed 'Mr Reliable' by Brett Ratten during the pre-season, the former Adelaide accountant joined fellow South Australian recruit Dougal Howard in taking charge of the Saints' backline to deliver superb defensive efforts and vocal leadership from siren-to-siren.

Armed with the most effective boot in the red, white and black, the 24-year-old's well-rounded game was further bolstered by his intercept marking, rebounding efforts, timely spoils and the ability to play well above his height.

Wilkie is yet to miss a game since arriving at RSEA Park as a rookie selection in 2019.

After a top-10 finish in the Trevor Barker Award in his first season, there's no reason why top billing isn't out of the equation.

        CALLUM WILKIE        
  D M IM R50 SP EK 1%  
  198 76 30 66 123 132 66  
00:29 Mins
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Team song: St Kilda

Watch the Saints celebrate their round 12 win

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Hunter Clark

Season averages: 17 disposals, four intercepts, three tackles, two rebound-50s, two clearances
Best game: Round 8 v Port Adelaide, 24 disposals, five rebound-50s, two clearances
Key stat: Second for St Kilda's defensive-half pressure acts, third for ground-ball gets, equal-third for effective disposals

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

There isn't a stat for 'composure beyond years', but if there was, Hunter Clark would be sitting pretty on top of the table.

And he could be doing just that at this year's Trevor Barker Award after taking the next step in being of the Saint's prime smooth-movers.

Rarely flustered despite waves of heat and pressure coming his way, the Mount Martha local seemed to have all the time in the world when effortlessly stepping past opposition players. Those who did lay a glove on him did so as if they were handling a slippery fish.

The silky Saint delivered in big moments several times throughout the year, with a match-winning five-minute patch against Gold Coast in a nail-biting final term the highlight of his year.

Clark started the season across half-back, but steadily began to increase his time on-ball to add another dangerous skillset to the club's evolving engine room.

        HUNTER CLARK        
  D I R50 CLR GBG MG ED  
  311 72 41 33 94 4077 226  
00:38 Mins
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Hunter finesse, Billings finish

Hunter Clark's beautiful link up through the middle and a Billings finish.

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Rowan Marshall

Season averages: 15 hit-outs, 14 disposals, four marks, three clearances, two contested marks
Best game: Round 16 v Hawthorn, 14 disposals, eight marks, three marks inside-50, two goals
Key stat: Equal-first for St Kilda's contested marks and score launches, second for hit-outs, hit-outs to advantage, inside-50s and contested possessions, third for clearances

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

With Paddy Ryder joining the red, white and black's ranks heading into Season 2020, many feared the inclusion would be a hinderance to Rowan Marshall's development as the Saints' No. 1 ruckman.

But doubts were quickly allayed when Ryder began to show his class at centre bounce and Marshall thrived both in the ruck and up forward.

The Portland product continued to be a shining light off the back of his breakout 2019, ensuring his impact was felt in multiple areas of the ground.

Marshall was superb as a marking target up forward, yielding an equal team-high 30 contested marks for a return of 13 goals, while his skill in the clearances, hit-outs and contested ball had barely diminished despite increased minutes in the offensive end.

A podium finish at last year's Trevor Barker Award was testament to his outstanding season, and there's no reason why another is off the cards for the fan-favourite Saint.

        ROWAN MARSHALL        
  D G HO HOA CM CLR GBG  
  267 13 277 86 30 51 79  
00:56 Mins
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RD 16 | Rowan, the man mountain is growing

Emerging St Kilda utility Rowan Marshall continues his impressive outing with another powerful grab and goal

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Ben Paton

Season averages: 13 disposals, four marks, four intercepts, three rebound-50s
Best game: Round 9 v Sydney, 14 disposals, seven marks, five rebound-50s, four intercepts
Key stat: Fourth for St Kilda's rebound-50s and marks, fifth for intercept marks and intercepts

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

Perhaps the biggest surprise and most important mainstays of St Kilda's shaken-up defence was young Ben Paton.

The Saints' new super-stopper put the clamps on some of the league's most damaging forwards, with All-Australian forwards Tom Papley, Charlie Cameron, Eddie Betts and Toby Greene all having their colours lowered by the Tallangatta recruit.

His importance to the side was further reflected after being one of eight Saints to play every game for the season.

Paton highlighted his class through his rebounding and intercept plays as the year wore on, and was unafraid of backing into contests with no idea as to what danger was coming the other way.

Unheralded for a large portion of the year, a high standing at St Kilda's night of nights might just change that perception.

        BEN PATON        
  D I M R50 T EK ED  
  237 78 82 50 20 107 180  
00:44 Mins
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Pepper Money Moment of the Match | Paton v Jones

Vote for this weeks Pepper Money Moment of the Match.

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Tim Membrey

Season averages: 10 disposals, five marks, four score involvements, two inside-50s, one goal  
Best game: Elimination Final v Western Bulldogs, 16 disposals, nine score involvements, nine marks, two goals
Key stat: First for St Kilda's marks on lead, second for marks inside-50 and forward-50 ground-ball gets, third for contested marks and goals

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

After shouldering the Saints' forward line for the past few seasons, the impact of Max King in the senior line-up allowed Tim Membrey to get on his bike and pack his punch further up the field.

Skunk's safe hands were brilliant moving along the wings as a hit-up target, with his booming kicks inside-50 helping his side get the scoreboard ticking over to great effect.

The key forward continued to show his class as a leader of the offensive end, rounding out the condensed season with 20 majors to finish third in the club's goalkicking.

Starring performances against Fremantle (three goals), Richmond (three) and the elimination final against the Western Bulldogs (two) had Membrey nearing the peak of his powers, with his ability to bring teammates into the game and make an impact of his own up forward crucial assets to St Kilda's attack.

Now, there's every chance he could make it three straight top-10 finishes at tonight's Trevor Barker Award.

        TIM MEMBREY        
  D G M M50 CM SI I50  
  184 20 83 24 19 68 40  
00:26 Mins
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Membrey or Messi? Skunk's stunning top-drawer volley

Simply astounding mid-air magic from Tim Membrey was originally called a behind, before the eagle-eyed score reviewer overturned the decision.

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Zak Jones

Season averages: 19 disposals, 10 contested possessions, four clearances, four tackles
Best game: Round 2 v Western Bulldogs, 29 disposals, six clearances, three tackles, one goal
Key stat: Second for St Kilda's ground-ball gets, third for clearances, tackles and contested possessions 

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

When it comes to midfield impact, Zak Jones was one of St Kilda's best.

The lifelong Saints fan inherited the club's famous No. 3 and lived up to the mantle with unshakeable work ethic, courage at the coalface and toughness with ball in hand.

Jones was a vital cog in getting St Kilda's engine room up and running, finishing in the top-three for clearances, tackles and contested possessions despite missing three games through separate injuries.

Starring efforts against the Western Bulldogs and Essendon – his 100th game – marked the hard-nut's best performances of the year, while a goal against his old side in Round 9  was the icing on top of the cake.

Perhaps a high finish at this year's night of nights would be the cherry on top.

        ZAK JONES        
  D CP CLR T PA GBG SI  
  304 145 62 57 245 98 64  
00:42 Mins
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RD 9 | Jonesy fires up after goal against former side

St Kilda speedster Zak Jones gets the soccer assist from Matthew Parker and nails the set shot.

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Max King

Season averages: Eight disposals, three marks, two contested marks,   
Best game: Round 12 v Essendon, six marks, five score involvements, three contested marks, three goals
Key stat: First for St Kilda's marks inside-50 and forward-50 ground-ball gets, equal-first for contested marks, second for goals and marks on lead

Photo: Corey Scicluna.

For all the expectation and pressure placed on the shoulders of 20-year-old Max King, the young key forward delivered in spades.

As the new focal point of the Saints' defence, the lifelong Saints fan showed why he was rated so highly despite a season-ending knee injury in his draft year.

King finished second in the club's goalkicking (22 goals) behind Dan Butler, but took out top billing for marks inside-50, contested marks and surprisingly, forward-50 ground-ball gets.

The young forward's soaring for marks and contested clunks throughout the season were sensational, as was his ability to contend with some of the most seasoned defenders in the league.

It was a riveting year for Saints fans to watch King in action. And with one full season under his belt, it's only onward and upwards from here.

        MAX KING        
  D G M CM M50 GBG F50GBG  
  137 22 57 30 30 10 26  
00:24 Mins
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King seals sensational Saturday night upset

Saints spearhead Max King takes a late contested mark and slots the sealer

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