Fremantle confident of securing Anthony
Fremantle remains confident it can secure former Collingwood forward John Anthony in December’s NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft despite looming competition from Melbourne, Carlton and potentially Gold Coast.
Anthony has agreed to terms with the Dockers and joined the club’s first- to fourth-year players for the official start to pre-season training on Monday.
Fremantle football manager Chris Bond said the 22-year-old would be feeling at home with the Dockers by the time of the pre-season draft.
“He’s committed to us and said that he’d love to play at this footy club, and we’re certainly keen to get him,” Bond said from Fremantle Oval on Monday.
“At this stage we’d like to think that he’s more or less embedded himself, even in this early period, at our footy club.
“We’re pretty confident of getting him.”
Anthony kicked 50 goals for the Magpies in 2009 but endured an inconsistent 2010 season, with Chris Dawes preferred alongside Travis Cloke in the premiers’ forward set-up.
Bond said Anthony fitted into Fremantle’s list management model and, with Chris Tarrant lost to Collingwood and an ageing backline, he could find himself playing both forward and in defence.
“Obviously his history has been as a forward, but I think what we’ve been able to show is we’ve been quite versatile with our players,” Bond said.
“If he’s got the athletic ability to play at both ends then that’s something that, hopefully if we secure him in the pre-season draft, we can work through with him.
“We think that he’d be able to add not only playing ability but a bit of experience to our footy team. He’s obviously had previous decent years at Collingwood, even though this year was up and down a little bit.
“He fits into the age-bracket and the type of player that we’ve spoken about in regards to our list management model.”
Fremantle will enter Thursday’s draft at pick 20, but Bond suggested the club would not necessarily target specific needs with its first selection.
“We’ve been able to look at and fill a bit of our list management model needs during the trade period,” he said.
“Obviously losing Chris Tarrant put a hole in that, but to be able to get people like Peter Faulks, young [Tendai] Mzungu, Jon Griffin … they do fit a need for us.
“Certainly key position is an area for the progression of our list to concentrate on, but we’ve also seen that the depth of the midfield is really important as well, so they’re both key areas for us.”
Fremantle delisted young forward Tim Ruffles and injury-plagued midfielder Brock O’Brien last month, but the pair joined Fremantle for pre-season training on Monday and shape as rookie list prospects.