Sandringham’s Big Three
Sandringham’s off season recruiting rampage reads three AFL clubs, three previously AFL listed players and plenty of youth as it attempts to reach the finals for the first time since 2007.
The Zebras have secured the services of former first round draft pick Beau Dowler, Fremantle rookie Hamish Shepheard and Adelaide utility Myke Cook.
Dowler, 24, who played 16 games for Hawthorn before spending last season at his junior club Noble Park, said he was looking forward to the challenge of VFL football again.
“I spoke to a few clubs but I thought Sandringham was the right club for me,” Dowler said.
“I am very happy with the decision I have made and everyone has made me feel very welcome at the club.”
The former number six draft pick can play up forward down back or even in the midfield and is looking forward to being a leader amongst the kids on the Sandringham list.
“There is a really good chance to become a leader amongst the list we have, it is a really young list at the minute,” he said.
“I want the younger guys to look up to me and ask questions and I will be more than happy to help.
“Ideally we want to be playing finals football and I want to be a part of that.”
For former Fremantle rookie Hamish Shepheard the transition has not been as smooth.
Shepheard has spent his entire lift in Western Australia but after being delisted from Fremantle drove for four days straight to check out the Sandringham Football Club before he signed earlier this year.
“It was pretty tough sometimes and it was a boring trip but I am happy to be here now,” Shepheard said.
“I had always wanted to play in the VFL; it is the second best competition in Australia.”
The West Australian has only recently joined his new teammates but already loves his time at Zebra land and like many others has his eyes firmly set on playing finals football.
“I have probably only been to four training sessions but we had our camp last weekend and I have really settled in well with the boys,” he said.
“I am already pretty close with a lot of the younger guys so it should be a good year.
“My main goal is to play some really good footy and hopefully play some finals football and of course you play football to play in premierships.”
The last of Sandringham’s big three recruits is local boy Myke Cook who is returning home after a three year stint at the Adelaide Crows.
Cook who managed 14 games over with Adelaide said the decision to play with Sandringham was an easy one.
“I am a local boy and played with Sandringham in the TAC so it was a pretty easy decision,” Cook said.
“It is a young club and has a good history so I am happy to be a part of it now.”
The Sandringham product says he looks to model his game on Carlton star Chris Judd and former Magpie Leon Davis and believes he has a lot to offer such a young list.
“I love the way Judd goes about his work with his inside ability and Leon Davis with his ability to run off defenders,” he said.
“I learnt a lot whilst I was in Adelaide and hope to bring some of that back to Sandringham like the way I train and recover.
“Everyone is really up at the minute and we just had our camp on the weekend and that went really well.”
Could this be the year Sandringham breaks its four year finals absence?
I think so...
Troy Snow is an RMIT Journalism Graduate writing these stories for the Sandringham Football Club on a voluntary basis, I would like to thank Troy for giving up his personal time to write this article. We look forward to more from him throughout the year!