Aaron Sandilands wins another tap. Pic: Michael Klein
Aaron Sandilands wins another tap. Pic: Michael Klein

Bombers’ surprise move to lure Sandilands

Essendon tried to tempt Aaron Sandilands out of retirement to fill its ruck void.

Twelve months after Shane Mumford was lured back into action by Greater Western Sydney, the Bombers made a play for Sandilands.

The 36-year-old completed a medical under the eyes of Essendon medicos, but the deal fell over when the two parties failed to agree to terms on a contract.

It's understood Sandilands wanted a two-year deal to move across from Perth, but Essendon was only prepared to commit to a 12-month agreement.

While speculation raged over preliminary discussions with the management of contracted Collingwood tall Mason Cox, Sandilands was also a possibility despite turning 37 in December.

The 211cm ruckman announced his retirement in August and ironically his farewell game came against Essendon in Round 22 after 271 appearances over 17 seasons.

 

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Essendon players clap Hayden Ballantyne and Aaron Sandilands after their final AFL game.
Essendon players clap Hayden Ballantyne and Aaron Sandilands after their final AFL game.

 

Sandilands had not managed more than 11 games in a single season since 2015, but the Bombers were desperate to add another ruckman to support Tom Bellchambers having decided they would delist another former Docker, Zac Clarke.

Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder said he was leaning towards nominating Essendon as his club of choice, but the reunion was scuppered at the last-minute when Ryder had an "exciting" visit to Moorabbin.

The Bombers eventually settled on Carlton ruck Andrew Phillips in what was the first trade between the arch rivals for 16 years.

Essendon handed over draft picks 57 and 70 to the Blues in exchange for the 28-year-old and selections 61 and 72.

News Corp Australia


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