ST KILDA is targeting a midfielder this off-season as the Saints look to back up last year's trade bounty.
The Saints landed five recruits during a massive Telstra AFL Trade Period last year in a move that has helped the club rocket up the ladder into flag contention.
But after their recruiting raid that saw them add Bradley Hill, Dan Butler, Dougal Howard, Zak Jones and Paddy Ryder, the club will head into this off-season focusing on the midfield.
With the Saints having salary cap space to chase rival players, chief executive Matt Finnis said the club had a priority in mind.
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"We certainly don't think that we're finished in terms of where our list needs to get to. We think there's tremendous growth from within...but I feel like we probably need some more quality and depth through the midfield," Finnis told AFL.com.au's Footy Feed podcast.
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"We saw Ryan Byrnes debut earlier this year, Jack Bytel [will debut against Geelong on Monday], but with 'Hanners' (Dan Hannebery) being injured and Luke Dunstan being injured this year, I think we could use some more depth there.
"That would be an area of the field we'd be open to looking to try attracting another quality player, but they've got to be at the right age where they can continue to grow and to develop with our list over coming years as well.
"We're certainly very much open to that and it will all play out towards the back end of the year."
The Saints were interested in Adelaide's Brad Crouch last year as Crouch contemplated a move from the Crows, and the previous year put in a bid for Collingwood star Jordan De Goey when he was coming out of contract.
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They are also keen to lock away the most important midfielder of their sharp rise this season, with former Giant Jack Steele falling out of contract at the end of this year.
Steele kicked two goals from 21 disposals in the Saints' win over the Suns last week and has averaged nearly 22 disposals and six tackles in a career-best season.
The 24-year-old has finished in the top-three of the club's best and fairest the past two years and Finnis said he expected to re-sign the potential first-time Virgin Australia AFL All-Australian soon.
"He's been terrific, Jack. I think if you'd asked anyone towards the back end of last year you'd say he was a reliable stopper who can run both ways," Finnis said.
"But now I think we're seeing a player who, when given the opportunity to get his own ball and demonstrate his own class, has really stepped up and embraced that. I'm just thrilled for him.
"He's out of contract and he's obviously a big priority for us and right from the start of the year Jack knew that we were keen to extend him out.
"We've had a hiatus on being able to do that through the AFL rules but now that's finished and we can sign our players again, I expect we'll hopefully have something concluded there in the not too distant future."