New Fremantle recruit John Anthony wants to repay Dockers’ faith
John Anthony got his wish when taken by Fremantle with the sixth pick in Tuesday’s AFL pre-season draft, and now the former Collingwood utility is desperate to repay the Dockers for their show of faith.
Fremantle nabbed Anthony after he played 43 matches over three years for the Magpies, his stint including a standout 50-goal season in 2009 before he managed just seven appearances in 2010 and missed out on the ‘Pies premiership.
Anthony quickly realised his future was not at Collingwood, and now the 22-year-old – who is capable of playing as a key forward or defender – is glad to be at Fremantle and is willing to play wherever coach Mark Harvey puts him.
“It’s about getting that opportunity again and all I want to do is play senior football,” Anthony said.
“I’m thankful to the Fremantle Football Club for giving me the chance to hopefully do so. I’ve got a long road ahead of me, a whole pre-season to get through and I have to earn my spot.
`I look forward to that challenge and that’s exactly what it is. I just want to play senior football.
“If I’m good enough to be selected then I don’t care where I play as long as I’m playing senior football in a successful side.”
Anthony has been training with the Dockers for almost a month ahead of his selection in the pre-season draft, and he is now looking forward to rewarding the club for the faith they’ve shown to give him a second crack at AFL football.
“I thought that if they are going to show me that faith I will show it back and I’ve always enjoyed watching Fremantle,” Anthony said.
“They are a very exciting team and it was a bit of a roll of the dice by the club, but they showed faith and I did the same back.
“I want to play here and I never flirted with the idea of going anywhere else. It’s hard to walk away from your friends and the club (Collingwood) was very good to me, but at the same time my future wasn’t there.”
Anthony holds no grudges over his snubbing by the Magpies, claiming he did all he could to earn his spot in Collingwood’s premiership outfit.
“I did everything I could throughout the season but the guys were playing fantastic football and Chris Dawes and Travis Cloke were playing well in their positions,” Anthony said.
“I went back throughout the year and got my opportunity, but couldn’t cement my spot and I’ve taken a lot of responsibility for that.”
Anthony also put any debate over calling him John or Jack to bed.
“My real name’s John but my Pa was a big influence on my life and he always wanted a son, and liked the name Jack,” he said.
“My mum liked the name Jack too and my dad doesn’t have a problem with it, so it has just stuck. It’s better than having an odd nickname.”