ST KILDA has rewarded Jack Steele for his breakout 2020 campaign, elevating the gun midfielder to co-captain alongside veteran Jarryn Geary.
Steele, 25, enters the leadership group for the first time after a stellar season in which he won his first club best and fairest and was named an AFL All-Australian.
It will be Geary's fifth year as captain, the Saints opting for multiple skippers for the first time since 2007 when Nick Riewoldt, Luke Ball and Lenny Hayes shared the reins.
And with Geary recovering from a pre-season leg fracture, former Giant Steele is poised to lead the Saints solo in round one against his former club.
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Defender Dougal Howard has also been fast-tracked straight into the seven-man leadership group as vice-captain alongside Tim Membrey.
Callum Wilkie is a first-time inductee and joins last year's members Seb Ross and Jack Billings.
Bradley Hill has been left out from 2020, along with Dylan Roberton who is weighing up retirement.
"I'm really grateful to have been given this honour, it's a true privilege," Steele said.
"When you walk through the Hall of Fame at RSEA Park and see names like Frawley, Harvey, Barker and Baldock, it's really humbling to now be continuing their legacy.
"To have 'Gears' alongside me is also really special. He's really taken me under his wing, and I've learned so much from him since joining the club. His leadership is second to none, not just his voice on-field, but also how he rallies the group off it.
"I'm looking forward to continuing to learn from him, while also getting stuck into all the responsibilities of being an AFL captain."
The Saints' leadership group was voted on by the playing group and football department. Senior football department staff and the leadership group then took a captaincy recommendation to the club's board to be ratified.
"Jack and I have caught up quite regularly over the past few years to talk about his role as a leader among the group," Geary said.
"We're both strong believers that it's not your title that makes you a leader, it's how you act, and we want to be a leadership group that values the opinion of all our teammates."