AFL: Another big honour for improved Saints defender Jack Sinclair

Jack Sinclair has dethroned captain Jack Steele as St Kilda’s club champion after a career-best season that also saw him earn All-Australian selection for the first time.

Steele won the past two Trevor Barker medals but a mid-season AC joint injury that required surgery limited him to only 18 games this year.

Sinclair led the count from start to finish this time around and was the only Saint to poll in all 22 games as he won comfortably on 174 votes, ahead of Callum Wilkie (153) and Steele (124).

Tim Membrey (103) and another two-time winner, Seb Ross (102), rounded out the top five this year.

Sinclair, who is contracted until the end of 2024, finished runner-up to Steele last season in a breakout campaign after shifting to half-back.

But the 27-year-old with football’s best mullet went to another level in 2022, averaging 28 disposals – almost 20 of them kicks – 514m gained and five rebound 50s in an ultra-consistent year.

“It’s been pleasing. I’ve had my ups and downs, that’s for sure,” Sinclair told News Corp during the season of his form.

“Every year has been pretty different for me. It’s really good to see some good form now … being able to play multiple positions is a plus and I’m just really happy to help the team out where I can.

“It’s definitely easy to be confident once you start playing well and get some consistency, because I think that’s something I struggled with when I was a bit younger.”

Ex-Crow Brad Crouch (93 votes) placed sixth, while Jade Gresham, Bradley Hill and Max King (91) were tied in seventh and defender Josh Battle (68) earned his first top-10 Trevor Barker Medal finish.

Marcus Windhager was named the best emerging player and former Kangaroo Mason Wood received the Robert Harvey Best Clubman Award.

Wilkie claimed the Lenny Hayes Players’ Crest Award as the Saint who best upheld the club’s values.

2022 Trevor Barker Award

1. Jack Sinclair (174 votes)

2. Callum Wilkie (153)

3. Jack Steele (124)

4. Tim Membrey (103)

5. Seb Ross (102)

6. Brad Crouch (93)

=7. Jade Gresham (91)

=7. Bradley Hill (91)
=7. Max King (91)

10. Josh Battle (68)

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