Unselfishness the key to success: Ballantyne
FREMANTLE goal-sneak Hayden Ballantyne says unselfishness and a continued focus on tackling pressure is making the side’s forward line a potent weapon this season.
Fremantle equalled its best ever quarter against North Melbourne on Sunday, booting 10.4 in a devastating third term before running out 61-point winners.
It was a quarter typified by forward line pressure, as the home side went into attack 15 times for 14 scoring results, Freo’s forwards holding the ball inside 50 until they scored.
A number of the 10 goals were created by quick handballs or short passes to players in better positions and Ballantyne, who had a team-high six score-assists, said unselfishness was a focus for the forward group.
“If I don’t hands off to ‘Mayney’ I get a spray, but that’s what it’s all about, bringing other teammates into the game,” he told afl.com.au after the match.
“They handball to me, I handball to them, and whoever kicks the goal, it’s a team goal.
“But you’ve got to be careful when not to give off. If you take a mark 30m, go back and kick the goal, don’t give it off. But if someone’s in a better position you give it off to them.”
Ballantyne, who booted two goals from his 19 possessions, laid five tackles on Sunday, while Garrick Ibbotson (five), Chris Mayne (four) and Nat Fyfe (three) were also prominent with their forward pressure.
Ballantyne has now booted 16 goals for the season but said he was measuring the success of his performances on team goals created, rather than his individual goals tally.
“Goals kicked is the bi-product of tackles and the forward pressure we all put on,” he said. “If I put on a tackle and someone else kicks a goal it’s a team thing.
“That’s one of our main focuses putting on a lot of forward pressure and tackles, so we’re just doing that as much as we can and I think it was working in our favour.”