Keep the mullet, Sincs!Jack Sinclair – and his flying mullet – have bolted into All-Australian contention in a career-best season. But there is one goal he will find almost impossible to achieve.
St Kilda star Jack Sinclair would like to fly “under the radar”.
But it’s hard to do that when you’re sporting one of the game’s more impressive mullets.
Even more so when you’re playing the sort of football Sinclair has been producing this year.
Coming off a career-best season last year when he finished second in the club best-and-fairest behind captain Jack Steele after a move to half-back, Sinclair has taken his game to another level in 2022.
As the Saints have confirmed their status as top-four contenders, 27-year-old Sinclair has thrust his name into the All-Australian conversation.
Proving a weapon with his run off half-back, Sinclair is ranked among the elite in the league for disposals (27.7), uncontested possessions (16.7) and metres gained (549), while also rating above average for marks and intercept possessions.
His 2022 numbers across the board are career-high.
Sinclair’s contribution to the Saints’ surge has seen him claim a half-back position in many rolling All-Australian line-ups, but it’s not something that sits comfortably with him just yet.
“The team is not picked yet,” Sinclair said.
“It’s nice to get a bit of recognition, but I wouldn’t mind flying under the radar.
“You never know. You play well and that stuff takes care of itself, but I’m just happy the team is in some good form and we are getting some good wins on the board.”
Jack Sinclair has become a weapon for St Kilda this year. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Sinclair gave his All-Australian chances another huge boost with a standout performance in the Saints’ 53-point win over North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
He had 32 disposals, seven inside-50s and 10 marks, setting up the play from the back half as he and Brad Hill (33 disposals) played a pivotal role in helping the Saints break into the top four.
It is the influence of a rejuvenated Hill – and his other fellow defenders – which Sinclair said had been a major factor in his flourishing form this year.
“Obviously, having Hilly (Brad Hill) down there helps,” Sinclair said.
“He gets a little bit of attention and I have probably been freed up a bit as well.
“I think we work well together with the rest of our defenders. I think our back seven has been really consistent this year.
“Guys like Josh Battle, Callum Wilkie, Dougal Howard getting it done every week and Ben Paton taking the tougher role, so me and Hilly can get up the ground a bit.
“I think (backline coach) Corey Enright has been a real positive for us this year, his influence and I feel like our defence – not only the back seven, but our team defence has really improved this year.”
Jack Sinclair is in All-Australian contention after 11 rounds. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Sinclair said he now had confidence in his role after adjusting to playing in defence last season.
“Half-back was a bit new to me last year and I feel like I am getting pretty comfortable there,” Sinclair said.
“I just think an extended period building my confidence there (had helped).
“I feel like I am building the trust of my teammates as well, they trust to give me the ball and try to use it well. I think the defensive side of my game has improved as well, the way I can get across and support.
“I have probably been flying for too many marks, I don’t need to be doing that at my size.”
Which leads us to that flowing mane.
While not a superstitious player, Sinclair acknowledged it seemed to be working, so he had no plans to lop it off just yet.
“Long term, I’m not sure … it seems to be working all right,” Sinclair said.
“I’m just trying to roll with it and we will see, the feedback is very mixed but you’ve just got to back yourself.”
Jack Sinclair and the Saints have their eye on a top-four spot. Picture: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/Getty Images
The Saints sit 8-3 ahead of the mid-season bye, but Sinclair said it was too early for the group to get carried away by the prospect of a potential top-four finish.
“It’s been good so far to bounce back after a disappointing year last year,” Sinclair said.
“We don’t want to look too far ahead, but certainly things are trending the right way.
“We have just got to keep playing week to week and get the wins on the board. If we do that then the stuff at the end of the year takes care of itself.”
But consecutive wins without their injured skipper and club champion Steele has highlighted the group’s growing depth and improvement.
“If you would have said last year that the skipper would be out for an extended break we would be in a bit of trouble,” Sinclair said.
“We’ve had some young guys come through, Marcus Windhager, Mitch Owens tonight and obviously having (Zak) Jonesy back, (Brad) Crouchy has stepped up and Seb (Ross) again.
“We’re spreading the load, we don’t need anyone to try and be Steeley, we just need guys to come in and play their role and I think that is what’s made us a good team this year.”
Personally cant bear it, but no need for change when you're on a winner.