Following the Fremantle Dockers training on Friday, midfield coach Simon Eastaugh said it wasn’t the physical dominance, but the work ethic that makes Aaron Sandilands one of the best ruckmen in the AFL.
Sandilands' consistent pursuit of improvement has been one of the key contributors to his success, according to Eastaugh.
“He’s got an incredible work ethic,” Eastaugh said.
“He’s very clear in his mind that he has room for improvement.
“When a player has that kind of mentality, where they want to continue to grow, they’ll continue to keep taking that step each year.”
Eastaugh said the 2015 Doig Medallist has set a positive example for younger Freo players.
“They’re all working to the same work ethic, with that kind of leadership ahead of them.”
Eastaugh said Freo’s full match simulation on Friday provided a good opportunity to see how the players fared in full ground, contested football.
“It’s a really good opportunity for us to work on areas we’ve been building over the preseason,” he said.
“(And) for the younger players to get that experience in a higher intensity environment.”
While Eastaugh’s primary focus is with the ruckmen and midfielders, he said success around the stoppages would require a team effort.
“We are working through our tactical side and stoppages, but it’s also about what our forwards and backs are doing,” he said.
“It’s an overall focus we take into these match sim opportunities.
“We look at who are playing their role and which players aren’t.”