The picture of consistency across a decorated 10-year AFL career, SUNS wingman Brandon Ellis is set to play his 200th game this weekend at Metricon Stadium.
Ellis has incredibly missed just 12 games though injury and form in his career to date which includes two premierships with the Richmond Tigers.
The 27-year-old was drafted in 2011 at pick 15 overall and said it was his relentless attitude towards recovery, instilled in him in a young age, which had helped him perform at the highest level so reliably over the last decade.
“I sort of started (focussing on recovery) in under 16s when I first got to the Calder Cannons,” Ellis said.
“They were huge on what are you doing away from the club where you can get an extra edge on your opponent.
“That stuck with me so I’ve always been pretty big on my recovery since I was probably 16 years old and that’s held me in pretty good stead.”
Ellis played eight seasons and 176 games with the Tigers before joining the SUNS in late 2019.
When asked about his impact in his two years since joining the club, SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew said Ellis had quickly become an influential member of the playing group.
“He’s infectious with his energy but also really experienced,” Dew said.
“To get someone in who’s won on the last Saturday in September I think is really important because anything they say or do carries a fair bit of weight.
“For us to get an experienced player who prepares well, plays well and is really consistent is great for us coaches and me personally to help sell your message with the playing group.
“His honesty is something from my first meeting with him (I took away).
“I walked away thinking there’s no sell about him, he is exactly as advertised and that’s the best thing about him.”
Dew said he believed Ellis had improved as a footballer since joining the club, evidenced by his starring performance last week against Collingwood at the MCG where he amassed a game-high 35 disposals.
The wingman has a winning record in his recent milestone matches (his 100th was a win for Richmond against the SUNS in 2016), and will be hoping that trend continues when the SUNS take on St Kilda at Metricon Stadium.
Ellis said he hoped to play many more milestone games with the SUNS and hopefully add to his tally of two premierships.
“As long as Dewy keeps playing me and my body holds up and I keep doing my recovery, I’d definitely love to still be here (for my next milestone),” Ellis said.
“I did have a pretty good time at the Tigers and we were pretty successful but one thing that I want to help the SUNS do is take them to finals.
“We’ve never made the finals before so that would be pretty cool and it’s one of my goals here.”