Sandilands raring to go for Dockers
Giant Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands has declared he is fully fit and raring to go for the Dockers’ season opener against Geelong on Saturday.
In a chilling warning to rival AFL sides, the imposing big man says he is back to 100 per cent fitness and feeling good heading into the 2012 season.
Sandilands, 29, managed just 13 appearances last year and missed a large chunk of the season due to a debilitating “turf toe” foot injury.
While the towering Docker suffered a slight tear in his calf, which kept him out of the majority of Fremantle’s NAB Cup action, he says he will be right to go in Round 1.
“My body’s in really good shape and I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” Sandilands told SEN in Melbourne.
“The foot’s really good.
“It’s back to 100 per cent and it’s no issue for me anymore.
“So, happy and confident it’s going to be able to hold out throughout the year.”
In less positive news, Sandilands did cast a shadow of doubt over his star midfield teammate Michael Barlow’s availability for the start of the season.
Barlow is still recovering from the after-effects of a badly broken leg and has reported soreness in the healing bones over the summer.
Sandilands said he wasn’t sure exactly when Barlow would be ready to go, but he said most likely it will be in a “couple of weeks”.
The big Docker revealed better news for classy on-baller David Mundy, who will be ready for Round 2 after recovering from a high ankle sprain.
Sandilands said his promising young teammate Lachie Neale was also a chance to play early in the season.
“He’s come into the club and he’s been fantastic, the way he goes about his training and the games he has played in the NAB Cup,” Sandilands said.
“He’s performed really well, so he’ll definitely get an opportunity at some stage.
“When he does, I’m sure he’ll become a really good player for us.”
Sandilands also identified young Dockers draftee Josh Mellington as a potential debutant for Round 1.
“He (Mellington) has had a really good summer for us,” he said.
“He’s played a fair bit of the NAB Cup, so hopefully he’ll get a chance in Round 1 and if he does, I reckon he’s going to set himself up for a really good year, this year.”