Bradley’s form earns him new deal
FREMANTLE has rewarded durable utility Kepler Bradley with assurance he is part of the club’s long term future. Bradley, 24, has signed a new contract through to the end of next season.
But, confirmation of a one-year deal does not close the door on the versatile big man renewing acquaintances with his former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy at Greater Western Sydney.
The legendary Sheedy will launch the AFL’s historic step into the western suburbs of Sydney in 2012 with the league’s newest team and has not ruled out recruiting experience players like Bradley for initial difficult steps into the national competition.
Bradley’s manager Colin Young said his client was keen on a longer extension with Fremantle.
“We would like to have secured Kepler to a two or three year deal, but this agreement keeps his options open at the end of next season,” Young said.
“Having Kepler sign for one more year keeps him in the (AFL) system and then there is that chance that he could have another crack in time with his old coach Kevin Sheedy.
“I know Kevin still holds Kepler in high regard and he believes he still has plenty to offer as a player.”
Bradley has been limited to just five games with Fremantle this season as Dockers coach Mark Harvey and his match committee persisted with just one specialist ruckman and the game’s biggest player Aaron Sandilands.
Bradley’s proven flexibility appealed to Harvey and his match committee when Fremantle hosted North Melbourne at Subiaco Oval in Round 10 when the Kangaroos carried an unusual stock of tall timbers on the ball and up forward.
He responded with his finest game since crossing to the Dockers through the 2007 draft and possibly the best performance of his career.
He booted a career-best four goals in a 21-possession performance at the height of contract discussions with Dockers officials.
Bradley had played 80 games, with 31 of those at Fremantle after his 49 at Essendon (2004-07) before his Round 15 outing against Richmond in Melbourne.