With pick 18 of the 2021 Draft, the Sydney Swans selected Angus Sheldrick out of Claremont, WA. The undersized midfielder entered the hallowed grounds of the SCG under the tutelage of some of the league’s past and present stars.
During the pre-season, the young Swan spoke to The Inner Sanctum about his football journey so far and his plans for the future in a four-part series named ‘Biding his time’.
Part Four – Looking to the Future
When the club broke up for the summer, Sheldrick had the chance for his first full pre-season and didn’t want to be left behind.
He didn’t give himself too much time off and wanted to hit the ground running to give himself a good chance at making an impact in 2023. His running and weight training was a big part of the routine.
“The work you do in the off-season was big for me,” he said.
“I tried to get started pretty quickly and get back into things so I can give myself the best opportunity to have a good pre-season when I was back at the club.”Embed from Getty Images
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When asked what he can bring to the Swans’ side next season, his contested work was the first thing that came to mind. Working inside the contest and getting the hands out to his runners is how he wants to make his name at the club.
“My one wood is the contest,” he said.
“I think that’s a really important part of the game.
“If I’m able to get the chance I just want to highlight my work around the ball. I just want to get my hands on it and make sure I’m distributing it well.”
He knows there’s a big job in front of him, but will be happy to put in the work. A good team will always have competition for spots and he’s prepared for what its going to take to find a regular spot.
It’s been a long journey from Perth to Sydney, but he wouldn’t change a single part of it and he’s ready for everything to pay off in 2023.
“Everyone’s training hard,” Sheldrick said.
“Spots are there but it’s going to be really hard to break into that team. But that’s what a good team is, when you’re in a good place it’s hard to get into.”
His season so far
Sheldrick started the year back in the VFL, averaging 29 disposals and five tackles as an inside midfielder. Earning himself a call-up for the Swans round seven clash against the Giants.
Collecting only three disposals on his AFL return, he was sent back to the reserves for a brief stint. A 36-disposal performance against Carlton in the VFL was enough to see him get another chance at senior level.
Against St Kilda in round 13, Sheldrick had 19 disposals and seven clearances. He was able to get 11 centre bounce attendances in the absence of Callum Mills and Luke Parker, forming a strong partnership with fellow youngsters Chad Warner, Errol Gulden and James Rowbottom.
His form continued into his breakout game against the Lions, he had another 19 disposals and booted the first two goals of his career against a stacked Brisbane midfield at the GABBA.
Sheldrick has just received a rising-star nomination for his round 15 performance against the Eagles, collecting 29 disposals and 12 score involvements in the 171-point thrashing. In his post-match interview, he mentioned that things come a lot easier when he’s enjoying himself.
“It is nice to be a part of, it was very good fun out there,” Sheldrick said after their record-breaking win over West Coast.
“It felt like everyone was having fun, and that’s when everyone plays their best footy.”
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