Freo’s Dodd heads to draft
Fremantle defender Steven Dodd has wasted no time lodging intentions to continue his AFL career with a nomination for this year’s national draft.
Dodd filled out and signed AFL draft nomination declaration forms with his manager Colin Young almost immediately after trade week concluded.
Dodd had been told by Dockers management that if he wasn’t traded he would be de-listed as Fremantle continued their youth policy into season 2011.
The hard-core 27-year-old still believes he has plenty of front-line football left after 101 AFL games at Fremantle.
“I think I can be pretty handy to fit into any side that needs a versatile sort of defensive player that plays anywhere on the ground,” Dodd told sportsnewsfirst.
“Hopefully now that Fremantle has completed some of their early list assessment and that they are heading even more on a youth program, a lot of other clubs realise that an experienced and versatile player like myself can be a draft or pre-season draft pick.
“I hope things can start to move for me over the next two to three weeks as clubs realise what they need and how they are going to work through the draft.”
Dodd joins retired stars Paul Hasleby and Des Headland, as well as out-of-favour forward Ryan Murphy, Brock O’Brien and Ben Bucovaz who are departing the Dockers.
Dodd was probably Fremantle’s prime trouble shooter through his seven-season career, although he was only called on for three outings in 2010.
He missed just 12 games from the time of his debut in Round 20 of 2004 against Geelong and his second last appearance against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
His last outing was as a fill-in player when Dockers coach Mark Harvey stunned AFL circles with 12 changes for the Round 21 clash with Hawthorn in Launceston and rested more than half of Fremantle’s starting line-up before the club’s first finals campaign since 2006.
“One of my best assets is my running and fitness ability and I think I have proved that and maintained those standards through my career,” Dodd said.
“I haven’t lost any of that.
“There’s no doubt that also I offer a club a vastly experienced and a lot more mature player now at my age and background with the footy I have played and the different types of roles I have played for Fremantle.”
Dodd has handled a vast variety of duties in Fremantle’s defensive evolution through former coach Chris Connolly when he vacated late into 2007 and now Harvey.
Dodd has competently held down midfield run-with roles on AFL superstar rover Gary Ablett and gifted Essendon on-baller Brent Stanton, as well as dangerous mid-sized forwards Steve Johnson from Geelong and Carlton livewire goal-shark Eddie Betts.
He has also adequately held down the key defensive responsibilities of St Kilda superstar Nick Riewoldt, Sydney’s premiership forward Ryan O’Keefe and respected West Coast big man Ashley Hansen in some fiery local WA derbies.
Dodd has already commenced off-season training in the assumption he will be drafted to another AFL club in November or at the latest in December’s final selection process for next season.
Dodd is following the same summer schedule as all other Dockers players despite being told he would be dropped from Fremantle’s senior list.
He will even train during his 10-day honeymoon in Thailand early next month after his wedding on October 29.
“I am going to make sure that I’m fully fit, healthy and available for anyone and anywhere that I can continue my AFL career,” Dodd said.
“As soon as I touch down back in Perth from my honeymoon, I will be ready to take up any challenge that a new club throws up for me.
“There’s no doubt I still have plenty to offer an AFL club.”