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Aaron Sandilands (born 6 December 1982) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). At 211 cm (6 ft 11 in) tall, and with a peak weight of 120 kg (265 lb), he is the heaviest and equal tallest player to ever play in the AFL.

Aaron Sandilands
Aaron_Sandilands towers over Carlton's Lance Whitnall
Personal information
Full name Aaron Sandilands
Date of birth (1982-12-06) 6 December 1982 (age 36)
Original team(s) East Fremantle (WAFL)
Draft No. 33, 2002 rookie draft
Height 211 cm (6 ft 11 in)[1]
Weight 119 kg (262 lb)
Position(s) Ruckman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2003–2019 Fremantle 271 (98)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2019.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Originally from Mount Barker, Western Australia, Sandilands played with the East Fremantle Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL), before being rookie listed by Fremantle in the 2002 Rookie Draft. Upgraded from the rookie list at the end of the 2002 season, he made his senior debut for the club in round one of the 2003 season. Due to his height, Sandilands plays almost exclusively as a ruckman, occasionally resting in the forward line. He was named in the All-Australian team in three consecutive years between 2008 and 2010, and again in 2014. He is also a dual Doig Medallist as Fremantle's best and fairest player, won in 2009 and 2015.

CareerEdit

Originally from the small town of Mount Barker in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, Sandilands originally played at Under 17s level for the Mount Barker Football Club. He moved to Perth, joined Willeton Junior Football Club[2] and was selected by Fremantle in the rookie draft prior to the 2002 season. He spent the entire 2002 year playing for East Fremantle in the WAFL, before being elevated to the senior list prior to the 2003 season.

Playing in 19 games in his first season, the highlights were being nominated for the AFL Rising Star and earning a Brownlow Medal vote for a dominant display against the reigning premiers, Brisbane Lions in Round 14[3] and playing in Fremantle's first ever finals match. Despite Essendon being convincing winners, Sandilands was one of the few to perform well, with 41 hitouts.[4]

As ruckmen are generally considered to peak in their late 20s,[5] Sandilands has impressed many to rank 6th or 5th in total hitouts in each of his first three seasons in the AFL, improving to 2nd (with the highest average) in 2006.[6] Despite this dominance in hitouts, it does not always result in Fremantle winning the clearances.[7]

In 2006 Sandilands suffered a broken jaw in the round 6 Western Derby in a clash with then West Coast Eagles ruckman Mark Seaby.[8] Following an investigation by the AFL, no charges were laid over the incident.[9]

Sandilands has been named in the All-Australian Team four times: on the interchange bench in 2008,[10] as the only ruckman in the 2009 team,[11] and as the key ruckman in 2010 and 2014.

In 2010, Sandilands polled a team-high 20 votes in the Brownlow Medal, placing equal sixth overall alongside Matthew Boyd. This represents one of the highest vote tallies and best finishes by a ruckman in the recent history of the medal, which has been dominated by midfielders.[12]

Sandilands suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung after being kneed in the back by Nic Naitanui in the Western Derby in round 3, 2016. He did not return to football until round 20, playing two of the final three games of the season.[13]

StatisticsEdit

[14]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles  H/O  Hit-outs
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T H/O G B K H D M T H/O
Totals Averages (per game)
2003 Fremantle 31 19 5 1 61 76 137 56 15 353 0.3 0.1 3.2 4.0 7.2 2.9 0.8 18.6
2004 Fremantle 31 20 3 1 74 98 172 61 21 473 0.2 0.1 3.7 4.9 8.6 3.1 1.1 23.7
2005 Fremantle 31 18 5 1 81 106 187 74 19 414 0.3 0.1 4.5 5.9 10.4 4.1 1.1 23.0
2006 Fremantle 31 21 7 6 123 145 268 96 15 516 0.3 0.3 5.9 6.9 12.8 4.6 0.7 24.6
2007 Fremantle 31 15 6 4 82 108 190 55 13 404 0.4 0.3 5.5 7.2 12.7 3.7 0.9 26.9
2008 Fremantle 31 22 8 11 122 208 330 77 29 646 0.4 0.5 5.5 9.5 15.0 3.5 1.3 29.4
2009 Fremantle 31 20 13 8 143 205 348 80 34 659 0.7 0.4 7.2 10.3 17.4 4.0 1.7 33.0
2010 Fremantle 31 21 13 6 123 220 343 88 34 732 0.6 0.3 5.9 10.5 16.3 4.2 1.6 34.9
2011 Fremantle 31 13 6 2 82 143 225 54 24 432 0.5 0.2 6.3 11.0 17.3 4.2 1.8 33.2
2012 Fremantle 31 14 6 0 71 135 206 48 16 528 0.4 0.0 5.1 9.6 14.7 3.4 1.1 37.7
2013 Fremantle 31 10 3 1 18 74 92 22 7 278 0.3 0.1 1.8 7.4 9.2 2.2 0.7 27.8
2014 Fremantle 31 23 8 6 75 218 293 85 44 890 0.3 0.3 3.3 9.5 12.7 3.7 1.9 38.7
2015 Fremantle 31 23 9 4 51 241 292 79 34 998 0.4 0.2 2.2 10.5 12.7 3.4 1.5 43.4
2016 Fremantle 31 5 0 1 9 32 41 10 8 145 0.0 0.2 1.8 6.4 8.2 2.0 1.6 29.0
2017 Fremantle 31 10 0 1 27 83 110 22 18 411 0.0 0.1 2.7 8.3 11.0 2.2 1.8 41.1
2018 Fremantle 31 11 6 1 39 85 124 26 12 446 0.5 0.1 3.5 7.7 11.3 2.4 1.1 40.5
2019 Fremantle 31 6 0 1 20 53 73 13 14 177 0.0 0.2 3.3 8.8 12.2 2.2 2.3 29.5
Career 271 98 55 1201 2230 3431 946 357 8502 0.4 0.2 4.4 8.2 12.7 3.5 1.3 31.4

Honours and achievementsEdit

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
2003 1
2004 1
2005 1
2006 5
2007 2
2008 10
2009 10
2010 20
2011 5
2012 6
2013 0
2014 7
2015 14
2016 0
Total 82

Individual

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Official Bio [1]
  2. ^ http://www.wafl.com.au/players/view/509
  3. ^ Sandilands the latest National Rising Star winner
  4. ^ Wilson, Ray (6 September 2003) Hird shows his quality
  5. ^ The ruck star lifestyle's not for me (13 September 2003)
  6. ^ 2006 Statistics
  7. ^ Disappointment all round
  8. ^ Connolly wary of AFL derby's impact
  9. ^ Cats contest Mooney charge Archived 6 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Cats dominate star line-up
  11. ^ Prestipino, David (14 September 2009) Sandilands a lonely All-Australian Archived 6 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ https://afltables.com/afl/brownlow/brownlow2010.html
  13. ^ http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-04-10/surgery-for-aaron-sandilands-after-suffering-broken-ribs-collapsed-lung
  14. ^ "Aaron Sandilands". AFL Tables.

External linksEdit