A rejuvenated Callum Sinclair has set his sights on playing every game at the top level this year on the back of an injury-hampered 2019 campaign.
The 101-match veteran hadn’t missed an AFL game when he ran out to face Gold Coast at the SCG in Round 15, but his season was then dashed when he twice dislocated his right shoulder in the Suns clash.
As Sinclair zeroes in on his eighth AFL season and fifth as a Swan, the fit-again ruckman says he’s intent on conquering what’s ahead.
“I obviously came back from a shoulder reconstruction in the off-season so I had a bit of a modified start to the pre-season,” Sinclair told SwansTV.
“But the strength-and-conditioning staff have done really well, they’ve got me back into full contact and I’m enjoying the match-simulation games. It was about a 17-week or 18-week timeline so the off-season wasn’t as enjoyable as previous years, but I’m feeling really good and the surgeon and physios did a really good job, so I feel like my shoulder is in a really good spot.
“Consistency is the key for me this year. I’d like to play every game at senior level this year. I had to call it with about eight rounds to go last year, so I’ll be happy enough to play some consistent footy and hopefully get in as many games as I can.”
The retirement of Kurt Tippett and ACL rupture of Sam Naismith left Sinclair with the 2018 and 2019 ruck duties, but the 2020 return of Naismith could see Sinclair play as a key forward.
Over Sinclair’s first two seasons at Sydney, 2016 and 2017, he played as a key forward and pinch-hit in the ruck.
And despite shouldering the Swans’ primary ruck role in 2018, he booted more goals than all other chief big men in a season yielding 12 majors.
“As a playing group we’re priding ourselves on playing a variety of roles and positions, so on a few occasions during the pre-season I’ve spent some time up forward,” Sinclair said.
“Hitting the scoreboard is something I like to do.”
Sydney has revitalised its attack with the off-season signings of former Port Adelaide small forward Sam Gray and the silky-skilled Lewis Taylor from Brisbane.
Gray slotted 83 goals in 96 senior games in Power colours, while Taylor snared 88 majors in 112 matches.
Gray has hovered deep inside 50 in Sydney’s unofficial pre-season games, while Taylor has put his outstanding speed and disposal to use in roles at half-forward and on a wing.
Sinclair says he’s impressed with the pre-season campaigns the new recruits are enjoying.
“They’re really exciting. Sammy and Lewy have fitted in really well and they’re both elite kicks, so our key forwards are licking their lips as soon as they get the footy,” Sinclair said.
“As people, they’ve blended in really well amongst the playing group, and I’m really positive that they’re going to have a really good season.”