Speaking from his hotel room in Port Douglas, Sinclair told
collingwoodfc.com.au about the biggest influences on
his young career as well as addressing his hopes for the
remainder of the season.
Luke Mason: You continually belie your frame with your fierce
attack on the ball. What's your attitude towards that side of
Ben Sinclair: It's just the way I've always played footy. I
think dad was pretty hard at it but I just guess I see the
ball and try and win it. I don't really have any philosophy
LM: I believe your dad played footy for Melbourne. What was
he like as a footballer and what were the things he imparted
BS: He played a few games for Melbourne. I think he was quite
different to me in that he used to play in the middle and he
wasn't very fast. He was pretty sluggish, he told me. He
could run all day, which I can't, I think we're pretty
different in that aspect but he's been very helpful for me.
Every week he gives me pointers and a lot of encouragement so
he's been very helpful.
LM: You are also related to ex-Geelong midfielder Will Slade,
BS: Yep, he's my half brother. Since ever I can remember he's
always been around. We're very close. He gave me a lot of
help during my juniors and still gives me plenty of help
today. We go down to the park and kick the footy around and
all that, so he's been very helpful.
LM: Did you model yourself on any players in particular when
you were younger?
BS: I don't know if I modelled myself on any particular
player, but barracking for Melbourne I used to idolise Shane
Woewodin. I used to love watching him and I also used to love
David Neitz. He was pretty handy, but obviously I don't play
anything like David Neitz! They were my idols growing up.
LM: With Bucks starting as coach this year, what sort of
advise or encouragement has he given you as a third year
BS: He's been very helpful this season, and last season as
well along with Mick. He's just told me to keep working on my
strengths which is my pressure on the ball and all that kind
of work. Over the pre-season he just wanted me to get a bit
of extra fitness which I've improved on this year as it's
probably the first full pre-season I've completed which has
been very handy. Also just to put on a bit more weight over
the start of the season which I was able to do but I was
still able to put a bit more on during the year which would
LM: It might sound like a stupid question, but what's more
important for you as a small forward circa 2012 - goals or
BS: For me, I think I'm in the team for tackling and pressure
I put on so that's my focus to apply as much pressure as I
can. If I can get a few goals here and there, it's something
that I'm trying to work on and it's very helpful if I can get
LM: You've managed to keep a pretty low profile until
recently, which isn't an easy thing to do while playing for
Collingwood. How have you managed that?
BS: I hadn't expected it, but it's pretty full on. All the
supporters get behind you each week and it's pretty amazing
how many supporters we get turning up to each game and how
many people follow us and how big the club is. We pretty much
play a blockbuster every month so it's pretty amazing. I'm
slowly getting used to it. I still go under the radar a fair
bit. I don't really get noticed, but I'm happy with that.
LM: Has there been a moment this season where you felt like
you had 'clicked' as a league footballer?
BS: I think that with playing each game you get a bit more
confidence to be able to take the game on a bit more. Over
time, I think I've grown with more confidence and that's
probably the main reason.
LM: What was your aim coming into the season? Did you
anticipate playing every game to this point?
BS: Obviously at the very start of the season the main aim
was to play round one and I was able to get that opportunity.
Every since then, it's been to stay in the senior side and my
main aim is to try and become a consistent member of the
senior side and then hopefully if I can manage that and stay
in for the season then I could play a few finals.
LM: On the finals - last season you played against Geelong in
round 24 but missed out on the finals. You were still named
as an emergency for the Grand Final and went through the
Parade before the match. What was that experience like and
how close were you to getting a game?
BS: That was an amazing experience to go through the city
with 1000s of people cheering you on. I was pretty shocked to
see that support for us. I'm not sure how close to playing
when I was an emergency but definitely this year it has
spurred me on to have a solid pre-season and I managed to get
that done so that was step one. It's definitely keeping me
going to try and play good footy each week and try to stay in
the side if we do make the finals and have a crack this year.
Hopefully I can give it a crack myself.
Sinclair as a 17-year-old in his Vic Metro playing
guernsey; Sinclair's half brother Will Slade who played
17 games for Geelong between 2002 and 2006; waving to the
crowd during last year's Grand Final Parade.