FREMANTLE rookie Alex Silvagni was given no guarantees when he crossed the country late last year to train with Fremantle and mount a late bid for an AFL career.

Even now, after proving himself as a versatile key defender in his six accomplished AFL games, the 22-year-old’s spot in the side hangs in the balance.

The mature-age recruit has carved a role for himself as Fremantle’s third tall defender in a back six that has emerged as one of the League’s best this season.

But with veteran defender Antoni Grover preparing to return to the backline in coming weeks, Silvagni is set to face competition for his spot.

Jay van Berlo and Clancee Pearce were sent back to the rookie list last week to allow Tim Ruffles (knee) and Scott Thornton (groin) to resume playing in the WAFL, and the same fate awaited Silvagni before Des Headland was placed on the long-term injury list late on Monday. 

Headland’s ill fortune was Silvagni’s lucky break, with the Casey Scorpions recruit able to remain on the senior list.

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