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AFL 2017 Round 06 - West Coast v Fremantle

Aaron Sandilands with his daughters Billie and Sloane before his 250th game in round 6, 2017.

Had you watched much of Aaron play before you were drafted to the club?
I watched quite a bit of him, he has been one of the best ruckmen over the last 10 years, so I watched a fair bit of him when I was younger.

What was it like to get drafted to Freo, then realise you are going to spend your first few weeks over here living with him?
It was pretty daunting, I sort of didn’t know what to expect. But I quickly saw he was just a normal, nice guy. Once I got my head around that, I was fine.

What were your first impressions?
He was just a great guy, genuinely nice and good with his kids. He and his family welcomed me really nicely.

Any funny habits from your time living with him?
He loves mowing his lawns, which is something that I remember from his birthday last year. It was December and he came inside and said, “the best part of my day was being able to mow my lawns.”

So has he taught you how to mow a lawn yet?
No, not yet. I haven’t got out there yet.

He is regarded as one of the best rucks in the AFL, how important is it to you to learn from him?
It’s extremely important, to have someone like him teaching me what to do, what to look for is unreal. 

What have you taken from his advice over the past couple of months?
With ruck work it’s all about positioning and attention to detail. You might do it well once, but it’s about keeping that repetitive instinct. So you just naturally keep doing it more and more during games. His attention to detail is unlike anything I have seen before. The way he is always on time, he is always leaving on time. If he say’s we’re leaving at 6.20am, we’re in the car ready to go by 6.20am. We’re not jumping in the car at 6.25am, so that’s probably the biggest thing I have learnt from him, his time management skills.

What about off-field have you learnt anything to help you with your personal life?
He obviously has his own landscaping business, and that it something I learnt straight way. On his days off from the club he was there, you might be sore from a big week, but he was always there.

The two of you seem to have a close relationship?
Yes, he will invite me over to dinner every now and then. He always cooks up a good feed and I get along with him and his family well.

Does he have a speciality dish?
He’s pretty good at a steak and salad.

What are your thoughts on him being at the club for another year?
It’s fantastic, I couldn’t be happier to have another year developing under him. It’s really exciting to have him here for another year showing me the ropes.