Wednesday, 5 July 2017
Ross Lyon says has no doubt Aaron Sandilands will continue his decorated career in 2018 despite undergoing surgery to repair his hamstring tendon.
"They've never been better conditioned, looked after and not beaten up during the week. It avails itself to play longer, we're seeing that right throughout the League," Lyon said.
"It's a legitimate question with his age and profile, but certainly it can be done – and will be done."
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Aaron Sandilands will
have surgery on his right hamstring, confirming he will not play again this season.
"At this stage, the medical advice is that Aaron will require a rehabilitation phase of eight to 10 weeks, ruling him out for the remainder of this season," Fremantle football manager Chris Bond said.
"Once the rehabilitation process is completed, we expect Aaron to be fully fit and available to start the 2018 pre-season on schedule.
"Aaron had a similar operation on his left leg in early 2013 and made a full recovery."
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Aaron Sandilands signs a new
deal with the Dockers to play on for a 16th season in 2018.
"My body is feeling really good. I'm very happy to be here for another 12 months," Sandilands said.
"I was pretty confident that I would be able to get through another season and contribute strongly.
"It was an easy decision as I continue to love playing the game and I still feel like I can contribute to the side."
Saturday, 29 April 2017
On the eve of his 250th game, Aaron Sandilands says one of his goals in 2017 is to fast-track the development of young Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy.
"Sean lived with me when he first came over for the first couple of weeks and is a great young man," Sandilands said of Darcy.
"He's got a great head on his shoulders and he's willing to learn as much as he can at the moment, so I'm more than happy to pass on as much information to him and try to improve him to become a great AFL ruckman.
"I've got no doubt he's going to be a long-term player at this footy club.
"If I can help him in any way, I will."
Monday, 24 April 2017
Aaron Sandilands has thrown his support behind the AFL's decision to ban the 'third man up' during ruck contests.
"I just like the fact you can see two genuine ruckmen competing one-on-one, and I think that's been a positive for the game," Sandilands said.
"No one else can have an influence on the contest. It's a pretty good spectacle of the game."
Monday, 20 March 2017
Aaron Sandilands has rebuffed talk that 2017 could be his farewell season, with the Fremantle ruckman declaring he wants to play on again in 2018.
"I'm really enjoying still coming to training and the game side of things," he said.
"As long as that's there and as long as I'm still able to contribute to the side, I've got no doubt I'd like to go again."
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Nat Fyfe will captain Fremantle in 2017 after succeeding David Mundy as skipper of the club.
Fyfe, Mundy, Aaron Sandilands and Lee Spurr have been joined in the 2017 leadership group by star forward Michael Walters and reigning Doig medallist Lachie Neale.
Veteran defender Michael Johnson has been left out after a controversial off-season incident, which saw him charged with assault in a kebab shop.
"It's just fantastic to get the support of the players, and to also have two new members of the leadership group," Fyfe said.
"It's an exciting time for the footy club and we have an exciting group to lead the club for the next four or five years."
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Aaron Sandilands is set to miss the start of Fremantle's JLT Community Series campaign after suffering a calf strain.
The club confirmed that the veteran experienced some tightness in his left calf at training and scans have revealed a minor strain.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Aaron Sandilands won't return for up to six weeks after his recovery time from broken ribs and a collapsed lung was pushed out.
Sandilands had been closing in on his return after surgery in April, but he could now be sidelined beyond the Dockers' round 15 bye after advice to extend his time in recovery.
"Aaron saw the surgeon this past week and she's asked for his recovery to go for a bit longer to allow the bones to heal a bit better," Fremantle sports science manager Jason Weber said.
"At this stage he’ll be another couple of weeks."
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Fremantle ruckman Jon Griffin says he is pleased star Aaron Sandilands has signed on for 2017 and believes the veteran's presence continues to drive him to get better.
Griffin signed a contract extension until the end of 2017. Sandilands also re-signed last month but Griffin said he was not concerned about what that could mean for his opportunities next year.
"To have him sign is great for the footy club, it's awesome," Griffin said.
"To have that competition within the club obviously drives me to get better and to become a stronger player. I love having Aaron around."
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Aaron Sandilands is set to play on in 2017 after signing a one-year contract extension with Fremantle.
"I still love coming to the club every day, am still very passionate and enjoy my footy," Sandilands said.
"I was really happy the club wanted me to go around again and I still believe I have a fair bit to contribute."
Aaron Sandilands says he had no hard feelings towards Eagle Nic Naitanui after their heavy collision last month.
Sandilands revealed that the star Eagle had touched base via Dockers' midfield coach Simon Eastaugh.
"It's part of the game," Sandilands said.
"Anyone in that situation would have done exactly the same."
Sunday, 10 April 2016
Aaron Sandilands has had surgery to repair broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
"Our medical advice is that the surgery went well and that Aaron will spend a few days in hospital resting up," Dockers football manager Chris Bond said.
"Aaron will then go through a recovery phase after which our medical staff will be in a position to confirm how many weeks he is expected to miss before being available to play again."
Saturday, 9 April 2016
Aaron Sandilands is set to be sidelined for an extended period due to a collapsed lung.
Sandilands copped a knee to his ribcage from Nic Naitanui in a marking contest in the second quarter and although he was able to get up, he walked slowly to the bench before being escorted by the club doctor down to the rooms.
The 33-year-old was then taken to hospital by an ambulance at half-time. He needed an oxygen mask to get to the ambulance but was walking without any assistance.
"Aaron's got a punctured lung and likely rib damage, so he went straight off to hospital," Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said.
"It's not ideal, but it's really courageous how he got up. It was a big contest. It was a result of a turnover. He got put out of position. It's really disappointing."
Friday, 15 January 2016
David Mundy is selected by the Fremantle playing group as captain of the club for 2016.
Following Matthew Pavlich's decision on Wednesday to step down after nine years in the role, every Docker selected five teammates on a 5-4-3-2-1 points basis.
Pavlich will remain in the leadership group, joining new member Michael Johnson, Lee Spurr, Aaron Sandilands and reigning Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe.
"It's a huge thrill for me. It's a fantastic honour to be Fremantle's next captain," Mundy said.
"In my time here I've had the privilege to play underneath Peter Bell and Matthew Pavlich, both great examples of fine captains and great people.
"I hope to emulate that to a certain extent and be a really shining light for our playing group and hopefully that can really drive some on-field success."
Monday, 11 January 2016
Aaron Sandilands says he is more concerned about getting through the next training session than his future beyond 2016.
"It's only January," Sandilands said.
"I'm just worried about getting from one session to the next."
Sandilands said he was still motivated to train hard and he would only consider retirement when that motivation disappeared.
"The day I get out of bed and don't want to go to training is the day that I'll walk away," Sandilands said.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands has created a massive boilover in Fremantle's best and fairest, becoming the oldest winner of the Doig Medal on Saturday night.
Sandilands, 32, won his second Doig Medal in a thrilling count by just five votes from midfielder David Mundy.
Brownlow medallist and AFL Players' Association MVP Nat Fyfe finished fourth with Stephen Hill claiming third for the second straight season.
The Dockers' voting system made it difficult for Fyfe to claim his third straight medal. Five coaches give each player a vote from zero to five for each game, meaning the maximum votes a player can tally in each game is 25.
Fyfe led the count after round 17 by 45 votes, with Sandilands sitting fourth behind Mundy and Lachie Neale. But Fyfe missed four of the last six games through injury, and played the preliminary final with a broken leg.
Mundy led Sandilands by five votes at the end of the home and away season but the ruckman polled better in the two finals to win the medal.
"I'm in a bit of shock, to be honest," Sandilands said.
"We've had so many players who have had such great years.
"Fyfey obviously won the Brownlow and David Mundy has had a stellar year and I thought those two would fight it out."
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Todd Goldstein and Aaron Sandilands are locked in a battle for the VFL/AFL hit-outs record after both ruckmen passed Gary Dempsey's 33-year-old mark last weekend.
Former Kangaroo Dempsey set the previous League hit-outs record in 1982, when he had 952 in 24 games at an average of 39.7.
Sandilands, who entered the finals on 915 hit-outs, broke Dempsey's mark in Fremantle's qualifying final win over the Sydney Swans when he had 43 hit-outs.
But Sandilands' new record of 958 stood for just one day, with Goldstein breaking it in North Melbourne's elimination final win over Richmond.
Goldstein entered Sunday's game on 937 hit-outs and added 46 against the Tigers to set a new record of 983.
Goldstein and Sandilands have both played 22 games this season, with the Roo averaging 44.6 hit-outs a game to the Docker's 43.6.
Both ruckmen are set to play at least one more game for the season, with Goldstein set to shoulder North's ruck division in a semi-final against the Sydney Swans on Saturday night and Sandilands set to play in a preliminary final on Friday week.
Goldstein's lead of 25 hit-outs probably means Sandilands will have to play an extra game to overtake him.
For that to happen, Sandilands will have to hope that North bows out against the Swans and Fremantle advances to the Grand Final.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Aaron Sandilands says the growing trend of teams using a third-man up at stoppages is helping him rather than diluting his influence.
"It's within the rules that you're allowed to have someone come third-man-up," Sandilands said.
"It's a tactic that some clubs use and we even use it ourselves.
"They're both pretty tall guys, so if they can jump and get a clean hand to it and hit it to one of our mids, it's an advantage to us. It's one of the reasons we use it.
"It gives me a bit of a helping hand at times knowing that you've got those guys there when you are a bit fatigued and tired. It can come in handy."
Monday, 8 June 2015
Aaron Sandilands signs a new deal with Fremantle that will keep him at the club until the end of 2016.
Sandilands said his body was coping with the demands of his 13th AFL season and hadn't contemplated looking elsewhere.
"It's where I got my start," Sandilands said.
"I'm keen for success, it was easy to (choose) to stay. I feel like my body is in pretty good nick at the moment and to get another 12 months with these guys has made me really happy."
Friday, 6 February 2015
Dockers coach Ross Lyon says Aaron Sandilands believes he can surprise the competition and play on beyond 2015.
"I think he'll surprise a few with his longevity," Ross said.
"I'm sure he's thinking he's got a few more years yet."
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Nathan Fyfe is elevated into Fremantle's leadership group, taking Matt de Boer's place.
Fyfe will join Matthew Pavlich, David Mundy, Aaron Sandilands, Luke McPharlin and Lee Spurr in leading the club.
"Clearly on the field he's shown he's becoming an elite player of the competition," Dockers skipper Pavlich said of Fyfe.
"The players have certainly seen that. But his level of influence and his ability to give feedback to his teammates are certainly some areas that he's improved in and grown in. I think he's got a fantastic understanding of the modern game and how our game plan exists and how to execute that."
Friday, 6 June 2014
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has hinted that he would like big man Zac Clarke to spend more time in the ruck to unburden veteran Aaron Sandilands.
"Zac's really developing as a forward. He did a lot of damage as a forward on the weekend and he did a lot of damage the previous two weeks as a forward," Lyon said.
"So he's grown, his mobility, he's elite. We know he's really capable in the ruck and he's building towards his best form in there as well.
"At some point it's going to keep shifting and it'll help Aaron, and Aaron's a real weapon forward. They're starting to work together really well."
Monday, 14 April 2014
Leigh Matthews creates a stir by saying the hit-out statistic is "useless" and that Aaron Sandilands could be classified as the most overrated player in the AFL "because hit-outs is all he does".
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon defends Matthews' comments.
"Everyone wants to make kingmakers out of players. Aaron has got a role to play and he does it pretty well. When it is disconnecting we always make him accountable but he is an important part of our cog," Lyon said.
"Leigh is pragmatic. To think ruckmen can just put it down people's throat without people hitting in and working for each other, he is right. It is a collective effort. I thought it was absolutely accurate."
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
After dominating in round 1 against Collingwood, Aaron Sandilands says his excellent early-season form is a direct result of one of his best-ever summers.
"It's hard to rank it, but it's up there," Sandilands said.
"It's been good just to get the full pre-season and summer over. And then being able to get four games of footy in before the season started has really helped me this year, going in with a bit of match fitness."
Thursday, 13 March 2014
Luke McPharlin says a fit Aaron Sandilands will remind the competition of just how dominant a ruckman he is in 2014.
"He's had a wretched run and I think a lot of people forgot potentially how good he is," McPharlin said of Sandilands.
"In recent weeks he's been in super form and he gives us an enormous advantage, particularly in the stoppage area.
"To have a figure seven foot tall and 120kg on the field is certainly an advantage, but we have to capitalise on that."
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
Aaron Sandilands says he never doubted being able to overcome his injuries and return to his best for the finals.
"The burning desire to get back was always there and if that's there, you don't think about anything else," Sandilands said.
"I haven't been in the greatest form that I would've liked but it's slowly been building and it's just good to get some good game time in and I'm happy with where I'm at at the moment."
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Aaron Sandilands says he will make his return to football this week, even if it is via the WAFL.
"I've been told I'll come back in some form this weekend," Sandilands said.
"Whether it's for Freo or East Fremantle (in the WAFL), I'm not too sure but hopefully it's for Fremantle in front of a big home crowd.
"It's been a long time since I've played a game of footy. I've got a fair block of training under my belt now."
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Jack Hannath has thrived on ruck opportunities at Fremantle in his first year at the club due to the Dockers' depleted ruck stocks and credits Aaron Sandilands for his development.
"He's been a big help. Obviously you look at him with his credentials and his list of accomplishments - he's obviously someone who's a handy person to have to be able to pick their brains," Hannath said of Sandilands.
"He's been great to me. Even when I was playing WAFL and then when I got in the senior team, advice and going through vision with him has been good."
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Aaron Sandilands is expected to miss eight to twelve weeks after undergoing surgery on his left hamstring.
"We think it's more likely eight weeks [on the sidelines] unless they got in there and it was something different to what they were thinking, but that is highly unlikely so it's really at the minor end," Dockers coach Ross Lyon said.
"[There's] been a lot of doomsayers out there saying it is the end of his career … this is quite minor and he'll be able to condition really well and play a huge part for us."
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Aaron Sandilands will head to Melbourne to consult a specialist after suffering a setback with his troublesome left hamstring.
"Once Aaron has been assessed by the specialist and we have his medical report, we will be in a position to comment further on the preferred course of action," Fremantle football operations manager Chris Bond said.
Thursday, 14 March 2013
Aaron Sandilands is making a quicker than expected recovery from a torn hamstring and is expected back in the side by round two.
"He'd been running PB's, he was in really good shape and he was light, so unfortunately [he suffered] a little bit of hamstring but he'll be available round two," coach Ross Lyon said.
"I've got great confidence in our strength and conditioning staff to prepare a great program."
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Aaron Sandilands suffers a partial tear to his hamstring tendon during Fremantle's NAB Cup clash against Geelong and will miss eight weeks due to the injury.
"It's certainly unfortunate that Aaron will be out for an extended period of time, but we have great confidence in our structures and players to be able to fill the role,'' Fremantle football operations manager Chris Bond said.
Monday, 3 December 2012
Aaron Sandilands has returned to training with a clean slate after eight weeks spent strengthening his troubled feet.
"Having no injuries over the break I've been able to keep the running loads up and the body's feeling really good at the moment," Sandilands said.
"It was a good chance over the break to get a fair bit of strength in my feet, so I've been doing that sort of work.
"Both feet are back to normal and I'm 100 per cent confident in both of them."
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
After struggling with foot injuries throughout the year, Aaron Sandilands says he is back to his best at the most crucial time of the year.
"I've got a couple of plates in my boots that are going to stay there for good now, but other than that the feet are really good and I don't even think about it now," Sandilands said.
"I'm 100 per cent now with the feet, so touch wood nothing happens to them. I'm really confident in the way they're going."
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
An AFL inquiry has cleared Fremantle of wrongdoing over the late inclusion of Aaron Sandilands in place of Jon Griffin against Richmond.
"Following consultation with the AFL Medical Commissioners the AFL is satisfied with the explanation provided and no further action will be taken," an AFL statement said.
Monday, 20 August 2012
The AFL has asked Fremantle to explain the late inclusion of Aaron Sandliand on Sunday and to justify the extent of Jon Griffin's injury such that he was unable to take his place in the side as selected.
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Ross Lyon defends Aaron Sandilands' late inclusion after Damien Hardwick questions the move.
Sandilands was named as an emergency after not having played since round 11. He was then a late inclusion in the game against Richmond after Jon Griffin "tweaked his groin" in the final on-ground warm-up and was withdrawn 10 minutes before the opening bounce.
"Look, that's within the rules. Whether it's in the spirit of the game, I don't know. That's for you guys (media) to find out," Hardwick said.
"You prepare one way and then all of a sudden, something happens and you've got to start preparing another way."
Lyon challenged anyone to provide evidence of Griffin's injury not being genuine.
I'm on record here, this is bona fide and legitimate, and if anyone wants [to make] accusations outside of that they're well and truly out of line and want to be really careful," Lyon said.
"There is no ruse here. If anyone is calling us liars, they'd want to be really strong and have strong evidence."
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Dr Peter Larkins says Aaron Sandilands will likely play with decreased power when he returns from his second turf toe injury.
"The complication risks are that he ends up with less power and strength with ongoing soreness from scar tissue," Larkins said.
"Even though I hear reports that he says that it's fine on the left side, it is normal that an athlete would lose a bit of power and strength if they don't have it repaired.
"If he ends up with the same result on the right side it means he won't have one good foot, which could potentially affect his playing capacity."
Monday, 11 June 2012
Fremantle suffers huge blow with ruckman Aaron Sandilands facing more than two months on the sidelines after suffering a repeat of the 'turf toe' condition that derailed his 2011 season against Richmond.
"It's very disappointing for Aaron, the club and our members and supporters," Dockers football manager Chris Bond said.
"But as is always the case in these situations it provides a great opportunity for other players in the group to step up and take on the challenge created by Aaron's absence."
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Aaron Sandilands will require scans after a foot injury caused him to be subbed out in the opening minutes of Freo's game against Richmond.
Thursday, 7 June 2012
Despite having a dominant ruckman in Aaron Sandilands, Fremantle is ranked a lowly 16th for clearances in 2012 under new coach Ross Lyon.
"It's a pretty new system that we've got going so it's just a matter of the whole midfield group and the ruckmen learning that," Sandilands explained.
"You're always frustrated when you're trying your best and the figures aren't quite getting there. There's still a lot of work that we need to do and we are doing that work so hopefully we can turn it around."
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Ross Lyon says Fremantle will carefully manage ruckman Aaron Sandilands' workload this season, wary of another injury crisis.
"Obviously he's a key player and there's opportunities to rotate them in and out of the team," Lyon said.
"Is that feasible? I don't know. [We'll] try and share the workload and get other people going through the ruck, time forward and time on the bench."
Friday, 10 February 2012
Matthew Pavlich has been retained as skipper of Fremantle with a five-man leadership group to assist him that will include Aaron Sandilands, Luke McPharlin, David Mundy, Matt de Boer and Hayden Ballantyne.
"It's humbling to know my peers and the coaching group hold me in that esteem," Pavlich said.
"I understand the responsibility that goes with the role and, hopefully, I can continue to develop and grow."
Ballantyne says his appointment to the leadership group is an honour.
"We have certain criteria that we hold ourselves to and I've worked as hard as I can to maintain those standards and it's been noticed by the team," Ballantyne said.
Monday, 27 June 2011
Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands will not require surgery and is set to only miss a month after re-aggravating a toe injury in his return match against Brisbane.
"It's not great to have him out, but certainly positive news in that he's only aggravated the toe injury," Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich said.
"It's not anything progressively worse, (so) it seems as though he's a chance not long after the bye. It's a really positive result, and it's likely to be only sort of two, maybe four weeks."
Monday, 23 May 2011
Star Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands is set to miss a month after an injury to his big toe.
"Just to put weight through the big toe sort of area is where you can feel it the most. I've just got no power through that area," Sandilands said.
"Fortunately I don't have to have surgery, I've just got to find a moonboot big enough to put on for a week or so."
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Aaron Sandilands will consult an eye-specialist after suffering limited vision following a poke in the eye from Adelaide's Richard Tambling.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands expects to spend more time up forward while fellow ruckmen Jon Griffin and Zac Clarke get more opportunities this year.
"We've had 'Griffo' come in now [and] Zac Clarke's taking big steps and training really well, so I can see those guys getting a lot of games this year," Sandilands said.
"Hopefully I can spend a little bit more time forward and those guys can spend a bit of time in the middle."
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Aaron Sandilands, who is contracted for the 2010 season, agrees to terms with Fremantle until the end of the 2013 season.
"I've always been really grateful for the opportunity Fremantle gave me to play the game at this level and now is a really exciting time to be at the club," he said.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Aaron Sandilands was presented with his first John Doig Medal on Friday night as Fremantle's best and fairest.
"I'm hoping to keep improving and I hope that we have success in the near future, because my football career's on the downward spiral now and there's probably not much of a window of opportunity," Sandilands said.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands says being elevated into the club's leadership group in 2009 has helped his football.
""I've enjoyed the role I've been in and hopefully I can keep improving in that area," Sandilands said.
"It takes a few years to learn the caper and learn where to run and to actually get your fitness level at a good standard to be able to do it for longer periods of time."
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Mark Harvey has told rival clubs trying to lure Aaron Sandilands away from Fremantle to not waste their time.
Hawthorn, in particular, has been rumoured to be interested in the ruckman.
"As far as Aaron goes, he's contracted until next year," Harvey said.
"People can talk and speculate as much as they like at the moment ... trade week's in about two months' time.
"What I would say to every other club out there is, 'Forget about talking about Aaron Sandilands, because you're wasting your time."
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Aaron Sandilands earns the Ross Glendinning Medal after tallying 30 disposals and 30 hitouts against local rivals West Coast after spending the last nine weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
"It's been a long nine weeks to be honest," Sandilands said.
"It's pretty hard sitting on the sidelines watching. I was close to getting up last week against Brisbane, but the medical staff told me to have the extra week and the body really pulled up better."
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says captain Matthew Pavlich and ruckman Aaron Sandilands will be selected if they're cleared by the medical and fitness staff from calf and hamstring injuries respectively.
"No question they want to be playing this week. We will have to overrule to the expertise of our fitness and medical staff," Harvey said.
"It's whether they get through the training session really.
"We'd like them to be playing. We need them to play, particularly with the younger group, so if we can get them out there we will."
Friday, 10 July 2009
Fremantle's Zac Clarke will take over the No. 1 ruck role for the Dockers against the Crows after Aaron Sandilands was omitted from the side due to a minor hamstring strain.
"It's always difficult for the guy in his first couple of games and his first year of league football, but the kid started to evolve last week," Harvey said.
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Fremantle has moved to block opposition clubs swooping on superstar pair Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands next year particularly with Gold Coast set to make a play for uncontracted players.
"We will have strategies in place where people aren't vulnerable and we're not going to be caught out where we'll be attacked by those clubs for our players," general manager Chris Bond said.
"Key players who fit into that model won't be allowed to do that, but we won't be held to ransom on the other side of things as well."
Monday, 23 March 2009
Fermantle is preparing to scream at umpires to protect Aaron Sandilands in its season opening clash with the Bulldogs at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands will try to keep opposition players guessing as he works with a new-look midfield.
Monday, 22 December 2008
Luke McPharlin, Aaron Sandilands, Antoni Grover and Des Headland have been promoted to Fremantle's leadership group.