'Dragons Tales' is a series of indepth feature stories on some of our top prospects in 2021, exploring their junior careers, their upbringing, the ups and downs of the dealing with COVID complications and more, written by Jonty Ralphsmith. This week we will be focusing on the dashing and versatile Josh Sinn.
A lot of parents congratulated Josh Sinn.
In his last official duty as skipper of the under 16s Vic Metro side, he gave a speech at presentation, his thanks and appreciation to the coaching staff glistening an excellent tenure as captain, after leading the side to the premiership.
“It is something I will never ever forget, ever, and I can categorically say will never ever be topped as a 16-year-old,” Vic Metro Coach Heath Black said of the speech.
“He covered off on every single facet of the program, he was highly respectful to his coaches and gave me an amazing wrap.
“The way it was articulated and structured was very well done and quite personal and that leaves an impression on you.
“He’s a really, really humble man who was years ahead in maturity.”
He gave a similarly all-encompassing speech of gratitude, with co-captain Darby Hipwell, at the Dragons’ 2021 virtual best-and-fairest ceremony.
As captain on his – and many of the squad’s – first elite footy trip interstate, to Queensland with Vic Metro, he stepped up and adapted to the responsibility. His organisation and ability to make decisions in the best interests of the team impressed those close to the squad.
“What you find with him is that when you’re in conversation with him, even as an adult, you’ll walk away learning something from him and that’s a pretty special characteristic to have as a young man,” Black said.
After his first major leadership role, 2021 Sandy Coach Jackson Kornberg sensed that greater duties may await. He saw signs of Sinn’s ability to connect a group, but Sinn saw his off-field leadership as a major growth area between his time with Vic Metro and his induction as joint-captain of the Dragons.
“I’ve become a more holistic leader I think," Sinn said.
“Rather than just focussing on what I can do on the field, I’ve realised what I can do off-field. Little things that make a difference like a little text message to someone which can change someone’s attitude towards how they come to training and how they want to be when they come to Dragons.
“I think I’m a bit smarter with the words I choose as well. You can just blabber a lot of crap and make it sound pretty cool and funny, but it won’t really have that same impact as something that’s more thoughtful, so I just make sure I think a bit before I speak and make sure it makes an impact rather than being a load of crap.
Sinn looks up to St Kilda co-captain Jack Steele’s leadership. Steele is discussed as a leader who sets standards and mixes hard work with his natural personality. “He’s not the loudest bloke in the whole group, he’s quite quiet but the way he leads on-field is just phenomenal," Sinn said.
Sinn’s balance is what shines brightest when Kornberg examines his leadership.
“You’ve got to be able to bring the group together and Josh, at times he is an extrovert and at times he is an introvert,” said Kornberg this year. “At times he’ll get around the boys and he’s really loud and vocal but at times he just wants to stick to himself and do his own thing which is great, that’s what we love about Josh, he is his own man but I think the area he has developed in is his whole group leadership and looking at the team and every decision he or the team makes.
“He’s got no issues with telling someone what they need to do and he’s got a strong ability to celebrate too, I think.”
His work as joint-skipper gives credence to a line that Kornberg has reiterated throughout 2021: “we’re lucky to have Josh the footballer at the club but we’re even luckier to have Josh the person at the club. He’s a terrific person to have and a terrific leader for the boys to have as captain.”
“He’s a kid you could have a conversation with for an hour on the telephone and the conversation just flows and it’s not like you’re searching for things to speak about. He’s comfortable with talking and getting to know people so he’s been sensational as our co-captain.”
In the final edition of Dragons Tales, Josh reflects on his 2021 season and looks ahead to the Draft.