List assessment: Fremantle
Hayden Ballantyne: An excellent second season from the feisty small forward, booting 33 goals in 19 games. His defensive pressure is vitally important to Fremantle’s forward structure, with a broken foot on the eve of the finals a bitter blow.
Michael Barlow*: The rookie revelation was among the Brownlow Medal fancies after a stunning start to his AFL career. Collected more possessions in his first 12 games (337) than anyone before him, but a broken leg in round 14 ended the midfielder’s season.
Justin Bollenhagen: The skilful left-footer developed steadily in the WAFL, earning three senior games late in his first season. Shows pace and an ability to kick goals from limited opportunities, now needs to work on his defensive game.
Kepler Bradley: Earned his spot as a back-up ruckman/forward and was a surprise packet, playing 12 games. Makes up for what he lacks in conventional skill with hunger for the contest.
Greg Broughton: Continued to grow in his second season, playing 17 games either side of a seven-week foot injury. Versatile and creative in defence, the 23-year-old also showed great signs when used onball.
Ben Bucovaz: The burly youngster impressed with his forward pressure in the WAFL before a knee injury ended his season in June. Yet to debut after two years on the list, but has shown something as a half-forward.
Zac Clarke: The young ruckman continued on a long-term development path in the WAFL, earning three senior games along the way in a solid year. Made his biggest gains as a forward, significantly improving his contested marking.
Jesse Crichton: The first-year midfielder was rewarded for his hard work and discipline in the WAFL with six senior games late in the season. Excellent defensively and quick, he showed potential at the top level.
Ryan Crowley: Resumed his important run-with role in the midfield and bobbed up as an occasional goalkicker before injury struck in round 16. Worked hard to return from a knee injury for the finals and was a top performer.
Matt de Boer*: The elevated rookie was vitally important as Fremantle’s defensive forward, playing 20 games in an accomplished second season. Courageous, desperate and a noted young leader, he now needs to work hard on his disposal by foot and his goalkicking.
Steven Dodd: The 27-year-old toiled professionally in the WAFL, but younger players moved ahead of him and he was only called on for three senior games. After 101 games in seven seasons, appears unlikely to be retained.
Paul Duffield: Built on a breakout 2009 season and emerged as one of the competition’s better attacking half-backs. Played every game and was effective when used increasingly in the midfield. Is skilful and makes good decisions.
Nathan Fyfe: One of Fremantle’s brightest young prospects, the courageous half-forward played 18 games in an impressive debut season. His sticky hands, polished skills and football smarts made him a constant threat.
Antoni Grover: A pre-season knee injury kept the strong defender out of the side until round nine but he played 14 games in an honest campaign. The 30-year-old proved valuable with injuries hitting the backline and should have done enough to earn a one-year contract.
Chris Hall: The young midfielder/half-forward managed just nine WAFL games in his second season on the list and is yet to debut. Built confidence through the middle of the year and developed his run, but injury ended his season.
Paul Hasleby: The club favourite played 20 games in his final season, announcing his retirement ahead of round 22. Was rarely used in the midfield, but offered something as a half-forward before being dropped on the eve of the finals.
Roger Hayden: The classy half-back showed signs that he was past his best through the middle of the season, but he bounced back late to play a handful of good games. Avoided injury and earned a one-year deal.
Des Headland: Looked likely to play a dangerous role across half-forward early in the season, kicking seven goals in the first four games before a knee injury hit. The 29-year-old injured his knee five minutes into Fremantle’s semi-final and his position is shaky.
Stephen Hill: Built on a terrific debut year to emerge as Fremantle’s most damaging midfielder, wearing an opposition tag most weeks. Was criticised through a lean patch but bounced back superbly and is a star in the making.
Clayton Hinkley: Played good WAFL football, particularly in defensive midfield roles, but was only used once at senior level when players were rested in round 21. Has slipped behind other young midfielders and, at 21, hasn’t come on.
Joel Houghton: The young key forward spent his first season developing in the WAFL, playing nine games after a stint in the reserves. Is smart, leads well and can pinch-hit effectively in the ruck.
Garrick Ibbotson: Suffered a shoulder injury early in the season and took time to regain form after returning in round eight. Made up for a lacklustre period with some strong performances late in the season, playing his best football at half-back.
Michael Johnson: After an excellent start to the season, the important utility was charged with possessing cocaine and suspended by the club for five matches. Lacked form and confidence upon return but played one of his best games for the club against Carlton in round 22.
Chris Mayne: Like Ballantyne, the young forward’s defensive harassment was so important in Fremantle’s barnstorming start to the season. Missed 10 matches with an ankle injury but returned late. Defensive side is excellent; now needs to kick more goals.
Luke McPharlin: Relished a return to the backline and formed a formidable defensive duo with Tarrant early in the season. The reliable backman missed seven matches with a knee injury but returned to complete a solid season and star in the first week of the finals.
Adam McPhee: An interrupted pre-season saw the tough utility struggle for form and confidence in the first half of the season, repeatedly turning the ball over. However, a string of tagging jobs revived his season and he became an important player, significantly in the finals.
Anthony Morabito: The big-bodied youngster stepped seamlessly into the AFL, playing 23 games, including two finals, in his debut year. Accumulated humble numbers but was dangerous, developing his inside game and standing up in big late-season games.
David Mundy: Deserved his place in the All-Australian squad after a standout year in the midfield saw him recognised as one of the game’s best clearance players. The highly effective onballer is entering his prime and Fremantle will be desperate to re-sign him for next year.
Ryan Murphy: Was only called on for one senior game when Fremantle rested players in round 21 and has played just 48 games in seven seasons. Doesn’t offer enough defensively and is unlikely to be retained.
Brock O’Brien: The 22-year-old’s injury-plagued career continued, with leg injuries restricting the hard-nosed midfielder. Three games in four seasons would suggest his time is up, but the club has marvelled at his work-rate and hunger for the contest when fit.
Rhys Palmer: Expectations were kept in check as the hard-running midfielder returned from a knee reconstruction, but his season was disappointing nonetheless. Poor decision-making and ball use were big concerns in 13 senior games and he was dropped late in the year.
Matthew Pavlich: Led a young side superbly all year but was at his imposing best in the first half of the season, kicking 39 goals in the first 11 games. Was forced to play through an ankle injury, which limited his output for a period.
Clancee Pearce*: After playing eight games in his debut year, the skilful rookie had to fight for his six senior games in 2010. Proven at half-back, Fremantle looked to develop the strong-bodied youngster at half-forward when in the WAFL.
Dylan Roberton: The rebounding defender enjoyed a solid debut year playing 13 senior games, including two finals. Is tall, skilful, backs himself to use the corridor and makes good decisions; a perfect modern half-back.
Tim Ruffles: The brave youngster suffered a heartbreaking end to the season, requiring a second knee reconstruction in 12 months. Has played WAFL football in both seasons with Fremantle and is contracted for 2011.
Aaron Sandilands: Reaffirmed his position as the game’s dominant ruckman with another outstanding season. Lifted the efficiency of his hit-outs, improving the players around him, and had an impact at ground level.
Byron Schammer: Was one of the WAFL’s outstanding midfielders, averaging 25 possessions in 16 games, but was constantly overlooked at senior level, playing just three games. Set to move on after eight seasons.
Hamish Shepheard*: The lightly-framed forward had injury issues and played 11 games for WAFL side East Perth in his second season on the rookie list. Impressed with his intent in marking contests and should be give another chance.
Casey Sibosado*: Completed a remarkable turnaround from out-of-sorts forward to confident rebounding defender in half a season after moving from WAFL club Claremont to Perth. The tall defender spent most of the year training opposed to Pavlich and assured his place on the list for 2011.
Alex Silvagni*: The impressive key defender forced his way into the side for round one and played 15 games before suffering a groin injury. Returned for the finals and earned a new senior list contract.
Dean Solomon: The rugged utility was forced into retirement before the start of the season with a chronic knee injury. Had an impact on Fremantle’s tackling as a development coach and took up an assistant coaching job at Gold Coast for 2011.
Nick Suban: Suffered an ankle injury early in the year and played 16 games in the midfield and across half-back. Not as striking a season as his debut, but the tough left-footer shapes as a key to Fremantle’s future.
Chris Tarrant: Continued his rebirth as a key defender and was among Fremantle’s best-performed players in the first half of the season. However, injuries struck and he managed just one game after round 13. Will return to Melbourne after four seasons at Fremantle.
Scott Thornton: Spent the first half of the season recovering from a groin injury and broke his leg upon return, forcing the 27-year-old into retirement. Bravely battled Crohn’s disease throughout his 88-game career.
Jay van Berlo*: Impressed as a small defender and occasionally as a run-with midfielder, playing 18 games in his second season on the rookie list. Disciplined and an elite runner, he has claims to a senior list spot.
Michael Walters: The classy youngster spent the majority of the season in the WAFL, where his ball-use and decision-making were highlights, before playing five late games, including two finals. Needs to add size and build an engine.