The fans have spoken, and as voted by you, Jack Steele is the Dare Iced Coffee Sainter of the Year.
The reigning Best & Fairest accepted the fan-voted award at Sunday night’s Trevor Barker Award, topping the count on 28 votes following his extraordinary season as the Saints’ leading on-baller.
Following the season restart, the St Kilda faithful were invited to have their say each round as to who was best afield for the red, white and black.
SAINTER OF THE ROUND: Revisit all the starring performances from this year's winners
At the conclusion of the season, all votes were tallied and deemed Steele a definitive winner – an amazing 17 votes clear of runner-up Dan Butler.
Steele polled in 11 out 18 matches and received maximum votes six times, surpassing Rowan Marshall’s five best-on-ground performances which earned him the inaugural Sainter of the Year Award in 2019.
His decorated season comes complete a maiden All-Australian selection and top-five finishes in the AFL Players’ Association MVP and AFL Coaches’ Association Champions Player of the Year, plus a near clean sweep at the Trevor Barker Award, which added the club’s most prestigious individual honour and the Lenny Hayes Players’ Crest Award to his growing silverware cabinet.
Steele is also expected to poll well on Sunday night’s Brownlow Medal count.
The 24-year-old 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.
Memorable performances against Carlton, Adelaide, Brisbane and GWS stood among the midfielder’s best, with his colours rarely lowered throughout the unprecedented season.
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 led St Kilda for disposals, contested possessions, clearances, tackles, pressure acts, inside-50s and score involvements, playing a major role in breaking the club’s nine-year finals drought.
Dan Butler’s electric debut season in red, white and black saw him slot into second place on the Sainter of the Year leaderboard on 11 votes, while an influential semi-final performance thrust Hunter Clark (10 votes) into third alongside All-Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder.
Jack Steele Sainter of the Year breakdown
|Round 1||North Melbourne||N/A|
|Round 2||Western Bulldogs||-|
|Round 8||Port Adelaide||-|
|Round 10||Gold Coast||2|
|Round 17||West Coast||1|
|Elimination Final||Western Bulldogs||-|