Freo eyes rookie monster Chad Sandilands
Meet Chad Sandilands, the 17-year-old brother of Fremantle monster Aaron who could one day partner his brother at the Dockers.
Sandilands is a raw beanpole ruckman viewed as a long-term development project and Fremantle is understood to be considering rookie-listing him in December.
At 204cm, he is 7cm shorter than his brother but said he was still growing.
Sandilands played six colts games for East Fremantle this season and spent the rest of his time playing in the amateurs for the Bullcreek-Leeming colts.
He said having Aaron to learn off had been a big help and he dreams of having his own AFL career.
“That would be the ultimate and it’s what I’d love to strive for but obviously there’s a lot of hard work to come,” Sandilands said.
“I’ve had a bit of an insight into it and seen how much dedication and hard work gets put into it.
“After my games that Aaron gets to we always have a chat about where he reckons I did well and where I could do better and I definitely find it a help.
“But to be honest, to me he’s not an AFL superstar, he’s my brother more than anything else.”
Aaron missed 18 months of football as a teenager with stress fractures in his back as his gangly frame adapted to the training load and Chad said the experience had taught him to be careful with his body.
“I watched Aaron go through that and it’s always been in the back of my mind a bit,” he said.
“In under-16s I had a little bit of time off leading into sort of what Aaron had. I just had hot spots and I only missed a few weeks because we were lucky enough to get on top of it pretty early.”
Sandilands will be one of 24 players who will go through their paces at today’s State Draft Combine at the WA Basketball Centre having been nominated by 1-3 AFL clubs.
A record 20 WA players attended last week’s National Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium after being nominated by at least four clubs as being of interest.
Today’s group will be tested in front of recruiters from all 18 AFL clubs.
The group includes Claremont premiership duo Kane Mitchell and Tom Lee, South Fremantle’s Cory Dell’Olio, West Perth’s Mark Hutchings and Perth’s Michael Florio.
The kicking accuracy, clean hands and repeat speed tests will be included in the state combine this year for the first time.s, meaning the testing will closely resemble that done at Etihad Stadium.
WA Football Commission high performance manager Craig Starcevich said the state combine provided a great opportunity for the players chosen.
Of the 34 players invited to last year’s state combine, 13 were drafted into the AFL system.
Seven players were rookie listed and six made it straight onto primary lists, including Tendai Mzungu, who won Fremantle’s best first year player award.
Jacob Brennan (West Coast), Jayden Schofield (Western Bulldogs), Tom Ledger (St Kilda), Tom Derickx (Richmond) and Kirk Ugle (Collingwood) were also drafted onto senior lists after participating in the state-based testing.