Season By Season
Having created a niche for himself in the back pocket during the latter stages of 2013, Sinclair entered his fifth season on the list keen to make the position his own.
He began on the right note, too, winning 20 disposals in the heavy loss to the Dockers in round one. It was just weeks after he had finally graduated from the rehab group after shoulder surgery cut his 2013 campaign short after 21 rounds.
Sinclair originally returned in a VFL practice match against Port Melbourne and returned to the senior side in its come-from-behind win over Gold Coast a week out from round one.
Unfortunately the 22-year-old was back in the rehab group a short time later when he injured his hamstring in the gutsy win over Sydney in round two.
He returned in the VFL several weeks later but broke down again in his second game back, this time damaging his ‘good’ hamstring as he ran through the midfield to deliver a pass to Patrick Karnezis during the win over Geelong at Victoria Park.
Another eight weeks elapsed until he finally returned – this time for good – against Frankston on 27 July.
Solid performances across the three weeks that followed ensured he was back in contention for a belated return against Brisbane in round 21.
He got through the remainder of the season unscathed, playing an important role in the win over Greater Western Sydney in round 22.
Season By Season
It was season of transformation for the gutsy 22-year-old. Few would have guessed that he would have ended the season entrenched in the back pocket after bobbing up for 14 goals as a small forward in 2012. He started the year at the feet of Travis Cloke and Quinten Lynch but struggled to impact the scoreboard, his two goals against Carlton in round two aside. His fanatical attack on the opposition backmen waned after a strong start (Sinclair laid 13 tackles in the first two games) and he returned to the VFL for the first time in more than a year after being substituted out of the ANZAC Day loss with only five touches to his name.
In hindsight, ANZAC Day represented a sliding doors moment for Sinclair who was demoted to the VFL but did so with a new role to play, as he was nominated as a candidate to replace Alan Toovey who happened to sustain a season-ending knee injury against the Bombers.
Sinclair’s back pocket adventure began slowly but gathered pace with 19 and 21 disposals in successive weeks against Geelong and Essendon. Importantly, he was able to quickly find the balance between attack and defence and his refusal to concede an inch saw him catapulted back into the seniors for the Queen’s Birthday clash with Melbourne. He received an AFL Rising Star nomination in the corresponding game last season and it again served as a good luck charm for Collingwood’s No. 28. It marked the start of an unbroken 10-game run that saw Sinclair carve a niche in the back pocket alongside fellow little man Marley Williams. His ability to create and provide rebound improved with each passing week and by round 19 was gathering a career-high 20 possessions, three rebounds and four inside 50s against Essendon. Unfortunately a shoulder injury against the Hawks a fortnight later put the kibosh on his season but he should finish it proud of what he was able to achieve.
Season by Season
The small forward made considerable inroads in his third AFL season, playing 20 games and earning a Rising Star nomination for his three goals against Melbourne on the Queen’s Birthday. Had injuries in the second half of the season but performed well against Hawthorn in the Qualifying Final when he tagged Grant Birchall. Will develop further with another full pre-season.
Season By Season
Received an early opportunity in the NAB Cup series. Started the year in the VFL but missed 12 weeks with a leg fracture. Impressed greatly upon return with his pace and tackling, which earned him a debut in round 19 against the Bombers. Started as the substitute and had eight possessions and a goal by the end of his one quarter on the field.
Returned for the last three rounds of the home and away season where his hunger for the contest in attack meant he was on the fringe of selection right throughout the finals campaign. Was an emergency for the Grand Final.
Surprised with some strong showings in practice matches against Adelaide and Richmond despite his slender frame. Played 14 games in the VFL, mainly on the wing and at half forward, where he was named in the best once. Missed three weeks early in the season with a shin complaint.
Played for the Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup U18. Represented Vic Metro at the U18 National Championships, where he averaged 12.8 disposals and 3.0 tackles. Suffered glandular fever late in the season.