CAMPERDOWN veteran Aaron Sinnott will run out for his 263rd and final Hampden league senior game today.
The two-time Magpies premiership player has called time on his decorated career, opting to finish with a home game against close rival Cobden, some six weeks out from the end of the home-and-away season.
Sinnott’s retirement tale is one told often in football circles.
He could have kept going and eked out another handful of matches but at the end of the day he felt “the timing was right”.
“My body is telling me I should slow down and there’s work and family commitments and I thought the time was right to finish up and give the young guys an opportunity the last five or six games of the season,” Sinnott said.
“I have been lucky enough to play in a couple of flags and do all that earlier in my career so I thought the time was right to give the young guys a go.”
Sinnott — an established onballer who finishes his career as a dangerous forward — had an interrupted start to his final season.
He was overseas for the first two games and then returned via the reserves — ironically against Cobden — in round three.
Sinnott was elevated to the seniors in round four and was a four-goal hero in the Magpies’ round nine win against Terang Mortlake, just days after he avoided the selection axe.
“My form has been like the side’s — up and down,” he said.
Sinnott said he would remain involved at Camperdown, a club with close ties to his family.
He is black and white through and through.
Sinnott made his senior debut for the Magpies in 1995 — a season after winning the league’s under 16 best and fairest.
He spent the bulk of that year in the under 18s and finished runner-up in the Judd Cup.
The highlights of his 19-year senior career were the Pies’ back-to-back premierships in 1999 and 2000 under current Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley.
Sinnott believes his senior games tally would stretch beyond 300 as he spent two seasons on Carlton’s VFL list in the early 2000s under current Fremantle coach Ross Lyon. It’s a tally he’s proud of and one that was unexpected — “you’d take that any day”.
He’s also proud to be one of only of six people to reach the 250-game senior milestone at the club, along with his brother Matthew. Sinnott said he was grateful to play under such highly-rated coaches during his career.
It’s easy for the retiring Magpie to see how Hinkley has turned the Power from a basket case to powerhouse in the space of 18 months.
“My biggest influence was Ken Hinkley,” Sinnott said. “When he was coach in ’99 he got the best out of me and got me going when I was 19.
“He made me take the next step in with my football as a midfielder.
“I have been lucky. I had Ken and two years under Ross Lyon at Carlton and Gerard FitzGerald was my first coach when he came to Camperdown.”
Retirement comes at a busy time for Sinnott. He and his wife Prue are expecting their second child in eight weeks — a sibling for 22-month-old Harry. But Sinnott will remain involved at Camperdown as it’s a club he hopes his children will play for in years to come.
“It is a good family environment,” he said.
“We were raised up there. I have a lot of mates up there and they’re a good bunch of fellas.
“I suppose you keep going back if you enjoy it and I have enjoyed every minute playing and helping the footy club.”
Camperdown coach Dan Casey said it was important the Magpies gave Sinnott a send off he deserved.
“It will be a big game for us, Spook retiring and Margie Jones, a volunteer at the club for the last 13 years, passed away on Monday,” he said.
“We have a lot to play for.”
The Magpies trained indoors at the town’s basketball stadium on Thursday night because the venue for today’s game Leura Oval was sloppy.
Cobden coach Stephen Hammond is excited VFL-listed midfielder Daniel Watson will play his first game for the Bombers this season, especially with experienced trio Sam Harkin (overseas), Paul Hinkley (Vic Country selection) and Tim Horan (overseas) unavailable.
“If we win without Hinkley, Horan and Harkin, you can say they are our three best, it would be a bloody good win,” Hammond said.
“We do enjoy playing at Camperdown. No matter who we are playing, we need to be on this week to try and get a gap (on the chasing sides).”
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