AFL: Fremantle ruckman Sandilands says he wants to play beyond 2017

Aaron Sandilands contests a boundary throw in against Carlton's Matthew Kreuzer  during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the two sides at Subiaco Oval on March 10. Picture: Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images
Aaron Sandilands contests a boundary throw in against Carlton's Matthew Kreuzer during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the two sides at Subiaco Oval on March 10. Picture: Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images

FREMANTLE ruckman Aaron Sandilands has flagged he may play on beyond 2017.

The 211cm-tall giant was in solid form during pre-season, averaging 29 hit-outs in wins against Collingwood and Carlton.

With good form behind him, his body right, a new third-man up rule and the support of coach Ross Lyon who flagged over the weekend his star could play for a few years yet, Sandilands said 2017 may not spell the end of his career.

“I’m really enjoying still coming to training and the game side of things so as long as that’s there and as long as I’m able to contribute to the side I’ve got no doubt I’d like to go again,” he said.

“It’s round 1 so at this point in time I’m not really thinking about it too much.

“It’s all about Geelong this week and trying to improve the side to get back to where we want to be.”

Sandilands, who debuted in 2003, turned 34 in December but said he was confident he would not have to be managed through the home and away season.

“I’m planning to play every game,” he said.

“I missed a fair chunk of last year so in terms of the body it feels really good so I’m hopeful I’ll get through the whole season unscathed.”

The Dockers start the season against 2016 preliminary finalists Geelong at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

After winning just four games in 2016, Sandilands said the Dockers would get a measure of where they sit following the Cats clash.

“We know we’re up against it. It’s going to be a big challenge but one we’re really looking forward to,” he said.

The match will be the club’s 15th annual Starlight Purple Haze Game, which has raised more than $1 million for the Starlight Foundation since 2003.

Fremantle players will wear a customised jumper with the Starlight Star above the chevrons and Starlight shoelaces.