Jack Steele in action during the match between Essendon and St Kilda at Marvel Stadium in R3, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA captain Jack Steele has put his hand up to face-off with arguably the League's best midfielder as his side seeks to avenge last year's elimination final defeat to Greater Western Sydney.

Steele had a game-high 38 disposals and eight clearances in that clash but concedes he was outplayed on the day by Giants star Tom Green (35 and five).

The pair of Canberra products are set to go head-to-head again in the nation's capital on Saturday.

Green is in ripping form, averaging 31 disposals, seven clearances and seven tackles a game as a key cog in the ladder-leading Giants' unbeaten start to 2024.

"I feel like he's a pretty good match-up for me, so I'll try get to him at most stoppages if there's no one else making him a bit of a target," Steele told reporters on Wednesday.

"It will be a challenge. He's one of the best mids in the competition at the moment.

"He's a massive, massive person and he's very strong too.

"I played on him quite a little bit in the final last year and he got the best of me, I think, that day."

Jack Steele contests the ball with Tom Green during the match between Greater Western Sydney and St Kilda at Giants Stadium in R10, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Steele hopes to use a personal battle with Green as a litmus test as he seeks to regain the sort of form that earned him All-Australian selection in 2020-21.

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But he also knows he no longer has to carry the weight of the Saints' midfield on his shoulders, with the likes of Mitch Owens, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Marcus Windhager developing well.

"It's great to have a little bit of the slack taken off by some of the young core that's coming through," Steele said.

"It's a nice feeling because it can really wear you down and, to be fair, I haven't been at my best for a couple of years.

"But even when I was playing some really good footy a few years ago I did feel that load.

"It's nice to come back, feel good, my body's holding together, and I just don't have to put that load and stress on myself."


Steele said St Kilda (2-2) is chasing a four-quarter performance against the Giants after an inconsistent start to the season, exemplified by a "game of two halves" in last week's narrow win over Richmond.

Key defender Dougal Howard is available to return for the Saints after overcoming a pre-season hamstring injury, while Windhager is back from suspension.