Sandilands re-signs with Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sandilands re-signs with Dockers

03/12/2009 07:21:10 PM Comments (0)

Dual All-Australian ruckman Aaron Sandilands will be at Fremantle until he qualifies for the veterans list, but still wants to improve his game, particularly up forward.

Sandilands, the giant 211cm ruckman, is coming off a season that saw him named an All-Australian and Fremantle's best and fairest, but also saw rival clubs, including the upstart Gold Coast franchise, signal their intentions to sign him with his contract up at the end of 2010.

However, it took just two-and-a-half days of negotiations between Fremantle and Sandilands' manager Colin Young to finalise a deal that adds three years onto his existing contract to tie him to the Dockers until the end of 2013.

The 26-year-old has played 135 games since making his debut in 2003, but it is in the last two seasons that he has announced himself as a leading ruckman.

While his dominance in the middle has developed, he sees his ability up forward continuing to improve and this pre-season is working hard on that with new part-time coach Justin Longmuir, himself a former Dockers forward/ruckman.

"I definitely have a lot of flaws on my game that I reckon I can improve on, that's why I say I think I can keep improving," Sandilands said. "It's a big focus for this year's pre-season, along with working with the midfield and on contested ball.

"Personally it's an area of my game I want to become good at and I will do a fair bit of work with Justin Longmuir over the summer on it.

"The marking side of it will be a focus and also the positioning inside the forward 50."

Despite the rumour mill running wild that Sandilands would leave Fremantle after next season, he never considered it and he believes some success could be on the horizon.

Success is something foreign to the Dockers with the club making just three finals appearances since 1995, but Sandilands is hoping young players Anthony Morabito, Stephen Hill, Nick Suban, Rhys Palmer and others will change that over his next four years.

"The young kids that came through at the moment played their first year of AFL footy last year, we have a new bunch coming in this year and, give them a couple of years, there's no reason we can't play in a successful side," he said.

"The only positive that came out of last year was these young guys coming in and playing exciting football.

"Another pre-season under their belt and with some guidance from the senior players, hopefully they can be that much better next year and we can win a few more games."

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