Jack Steele leads St Kilda out against Fremantle in round 23, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA star Jack Steele will lead the club on his own in 2022 after sharing the captaincy duties with veteran defender Jarryn Geary last season. 

The Saints underwent a leadership process inside RSEA Park this week and completed the transition from the current longest-serving player to the club's best player. 


Geary stepped down as co-captain last week but will remain in St Kilda's leadership group alongside Callum Wilkie, with Tim Membrey and Dougal Howard to serve as co-vice-captains.

Seb Ross and Jack Billings aren't among St Kilda's official leaders in 2022, having been part of a seven-man leadership group in 2021. 

Steele led the Saints solo on 19 occasions in 2021 after Geary fractured his fibula at the end of January, before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in June after returning for just three games in the middle of the year.

The 26-year-old inked a mega five-year extension in mid-December, avoiding any speculation regarding his future by signing with the red, white and black until the end of 2027, following two brilliant seasons where he has established himself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition. 

Jack Steele in action against Essendon in round three, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Steele has won the past two Trevor Barker Awards, earning a pair of Therabody AFL All-Australian blazers in the process. He finished equal third with Christian Petracca in the 2020 Brownlow Medal and fourth in the AFLCA Player of the Year Award, before finishing equal fifth with Darcy Parish in last year's Brownlow Medal after winning the AFLPA's Most Courageous Player Award. 

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"I'm incredibly proud to be voted in as captain – it means the world to me," Steele said.

"I love this footy club and I couldn't feel more honoured to hold this position.

"Holding the role by myself this year will be a challenge, but one I feel I'm ready to face thanks to the support of so many great people around me, especially Jarryn.

"Jarryn has been a massive influence on me since I walked into the club and his guidance and support has been invaluable these past few years. I wouldn't be standing where I am today if it wasn't for him, and I look forward to learning more from him and others throughout the year."

Jarryn Geary (centre) and Jack Steele talk during St Kilda's clash with Richmond in round five, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

While Geary might have had one of the lowest profiles of any captain in the game last year, the former rookie has helped guide the Saints through a challenging period since taking over the reins from champion forward Nick Riewoldt in 2017. 

The 33-year-old helped the group transition from Seaford back to St Kilda's spiritual heartland in Moorabbin ahead of the 2018 season, before leading the club back to the finals for the first time in a decade in 2020 following the sacking of Alan Richardson in 2019. 

Steele has played 102 of 107 games since arriving at St Kilda and appears to be set for another stellar 100 games across the duration of his new deal. 

The Canberran has been one of the most impressive trainers on the track this summer, showing he is intent on not resting on his laurels as the Saints look to bounce back into September after a disappointing 2021.