Retiring Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands says that he will never forget the feeling he gets from playing in front of the Purple Army.
The Freo star, who will retire at the end of the 2019 season, will play a farewell home game on Saturday night when Fremantle take on Essendon at Optus Stadium.
It will be Sandilands’ 271st game of a decorated AFL career that has seen him set the all-time hitout record, earn four All Australian jumpers and win two Doig Medals.
“The supporters and the fan base, I will never forget running out on the footy oval and hearing that roar,” Sandilands said.
“When the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you know you’re alive.
“I believe they’re the loudest and most passionate in the competition and it’s something that I’ll miss being able to do.”
Sandilands said he will also miss not being a part of the football club, especially getting to work with a group of promising young players, some of whom are almost half his age.
“I think we’ve got a great bunch of guys coming through,” Sandilands said.
“We’ve got some great youth that still excites me now when you walk through the door.
“I think that’s what keeps you young at a footy club, you’ve got 18 and 19 year olds, full of beans.
“When you see someone like Jason Carter debut and the smile on his face before the game, it almost brings back those memories of what it was like for your first time.”
Sandilands said that he can only see success in the club’s future.
“I see a really strong group. We’re led really well by a great coach in Ross Lyon and some great assistants,” Sandilands said.
“If we stay fit and available and keep getting games into some of these younger guys, it’s going to put us in really good stead.”