Jack Sinclair celebrates a goal for St Kilda against North Melbourne in R4, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA coach Ross Lyon would love to persist with Jack Sinclair in the midfield, but concedes an impending selection squeeze could mean competition for spots on the ball will be tight in the coming weeks.

Sinclair was one of St Kilda's best in a comfortable win over North Melbourne on Saturday, playing on the ball and finishing with a game-high 33 disposals to go with two goals.

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Sinclair has earned an All-Australian blazer in each of the past two seasons at half-back, but is equally damaging in midfield and dominated against the Roos along with young gun Marcus Windhager, while skipper Jack Steele played a more defensive role on North star Luke Davies-Uniacke.

But with Liam Henry set to return from injury next week and the likes of Paddy Dow and Hunter Clark also putting their hands up for some senior footy, competition for midfield spots is hot.

"That's what we're chasing in there and we'd like more of it," Lyon said when asked about Sinclair's performance in midfield.

"He worked hard, he just spreads so well, he's quick and is a great ball user.


"We're trying to build that out, that area. We love Sincs down back, but it's won and lost in the midfield so he'll probably spend more time there.

"Although Dow will play (in the VFL) tomorrow ... Henry will be available next week and Hunter Clark will play tomorrow. So we're really looking to build out our midfield a bit more than what we've had."

A major flashpoint early in the game on Saturday was a coming together of Jy Simpkin and Jimmy Webster, with the Saints defender returning after a seven-game ban for a vicious bump on the North co-captain in a pre-season game.


Lyon said Webster coped well with what could have been a difficult return to action.

"He just texted me and said 'thanks for backing me in' and I said 'no worries, we trust your character'," said Lyon. "Other than that, I let him go.

"He worked with (assistant coach) Corey Enright and was pretty calm and composed.


" ... there was a little bit of emotion there at the end and I get it.

"No one likes to see their teammates get hurt."

It was another difficult day for the winless Roos, with young midfielder George Wardlaw the standout while fellow young guns Harry Sheezel (playing predominantly in midfield) and Colby McKercher also impressed.


"There were some pleasing signs with the side today," said North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson.

"If we continue to play with that type of endeavour then we feel like a win isn't too far away for us.

"We just have to do it consistently."