Sandi ‘excited’ about extension

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands in his hometown of Mt Barker.
Camera IconFremantle's Aaron Sandilands in his hometown of Mt Barker. Credit: Laurie Benson

Mt Barker product Aaron Sandilands believes he can play a pivotal role in Fremantle’s development in 2019 despite being 36 years of age when next season begins.

The Dockers veteran signed a one-year contract extension during the week that will see him play at the highest level for a 17th season.

A four-time All-Australian, Sandilands has played 265 games since making his debut in 2003 but has managed just 11 this season due to injury.

Speaking after his contract announcement, Sandilands was thrilled to remain part of the club going forward.

“Really happy to be at the club for another year,” the 35-year-old said.

“I’ve still got the drive and the passion, still feel like I can contribute to the side and excited to be there for another 12 months.

“I didn’t consider retirement, I considered a lot of things and had a really good chat with Ross (Lyon), Chris Bond and Steve Rosich, and we all came to a good answer.”

Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands back in 2004.
Camera IconFremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands back in 2004. Credit: Iain Gillespie

Sandilands said another year of helping foster the Dockers’ up-and- coming ruck stocks was a key part of his decision.

“I get a really big kick out of trying to guide and develop the younger ruckman,” he said.

“I remember coming through as a young guy and spending a lot of time with Simon Eastaugh, and that did so much for my growth and development.

“We’ve got a lot kids coming through, so you need a balance of age and experience and youth.”

Sandilands is the second-oldest player in the AFL, behind Hawthorn star Shaun Burgoyne.

Meanwhile, North Albany junior Jeremy McGovern will play his 100th AFL game this weekend in the West Coast Eagles’ final-round clash with Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday.

McGovern was taken by the Eagles in the 2011 rookie draft and did not made his senior debut until 2014, but has flourished since then to become a dual All-Australian defender and now reach 100 games.

After recently signing a five-year contract extension with the Eagles, McGovern is set to play a significant role in his side’s hopes of going deep in September.

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