Archive for February, 2011
By Kim Hagdorn
Greater Western Sydney recruiting heavyweights have made a flying tackle in their bid to sign uncontracted Fremantle players.
Giants football manager Graeme (Gubby) Allan and list manager Steve Silvagni stormed into Perth on Thursday for what is believed to be initial discussions with leading agent Colin Young on his stable of players.
Speculation is raging through AFL circles that top Dockers Rhys Palmer, Michael Johnson, Paul Duffield, Chris Mayne and Kepler Bradley are all out of contract at the end of this season and high on Allan and Silvagni’s recruiting hit list.
It is understood Allan and Silvagni have not targeted any West Coast Eagles players as possible Giants from next season.
Paul Duffield and Chris Mayne have agreed to contract extensions with the Fremantle Dockers.
Duffield has committed to the club through to the end of season 2014, while Mayne’s two-year extension will see him at the Fremantle Dockers until the end of 2013.
Both players are members of Fremantle’s 2011 leadership group, and General manager of player management Brad Lloyd said it was exciting to have them re-sign.
“We are delighted to have Paul and Chris commit to the club because they are both young leaders and very important players at this football club,” Lloyd said.
Duffield had a solid 2010 season playing a half-back/ midfield role and was the only Freo player to play all 22 regular games and two finals.
Mayne enters his fourth season of AFL football in season 2011, with his pressure skills inside the attacking half a highlight of his game. In 2010, he managed to kick 16 goals from his 14 games.
Fremantle defender Antoni Grover says the club’s entire backline will have to step up this year following star full-back Chris Tarrant’s return to Collingwood.
Grover, seen last year as Fremantle’s third tall option in defence, shapes as an obvious replacement for Tarrant in 2011, with Luke McPharlin and young pair Alex Silvagni and Peter Faulks rounding out the club’s tall backline options.
Tarrant, who revived his career at Fremantle as a full-back, returned to Collingwood during last October’s trade period after consecutive top-10 finishes in the club’s best-and-fairest award, and Grover said no one person would cover his loss.
“As a backline as a whole we’re going to have to step up,” Grover said on Friday morning.
“Chris Tarrant’s left the club now so we look forward and we move on.
“[Silvagni] has been tracking really well and we’ve got Peter Faulks coming through. He looks like a good type.
Freo has named its squad to take on Adelaide at Thebarton Oval in the NAB Challenge match in Adelaide at 1.00pm (WST time) on Saturday.
Skipper Matthew Pavlich has been included, while new recruits Jon Griffin, Tendai Mzungu, Nick Lower, Viv Michie and Josh Mellington have also been given the chance to impress.
The Fremantle Dockers squad is:
6. Broughton, 14. Grover, 47. van Berlo, 10. Palmer, 36. Silvagni, 8. Suban, 46. Pearce, 13. Mzungu, 37. Johnson, 27. Bollenhagen, 26. Bradley, 44. Crichton, 38. Walters, 22. Anthony, 23. Mayne, 12. Griffin, 30. Clarke, 20. Michie, 15. Crowley, 3. Schammer, 29. Pavlich, 34. Lower, 25. Mellington and 41. Duffield.
Tickets to the game are available by contacting the SA Amateur Football League on (08) 8443 8999 between 8.00am and 5.00pm (SA time) Monday to Friday.
Although the game will not be televised, the Fremantle Dockers will provide regular updates via facebook and twitter.
The NAB Challenge series features the 10 teams eliminated in round one of the NAB Cup.
Palmyra resident Peter Peckham has received the Kellion Victory Medal in recognition of having survived with diabetes for more than 50 years.
Diagnosed in 1951 as an 18-year-old, Mr Peckham had to inject himself with bovine insulin twice a day with a sterilised glass syringe.
Fifty-nine years on, Mr Peckham was awarded the medal by Diabetes WA board member and former Fremantle Dockers star Troy Cook.
Mr Peckham said he tried not to let the disease take over his life.
“Although having diabetes has been a big part of my life, I don’t think it has stopped me from doing what I want to do,” he said.
“I felt proud winning the medal because it shows younger people with diabetes that with the right care and attitude, you can live a long and healthy life.
“At the moment I am enjoying my retirement, and am looking forward to supporting my beloved Dockers this season.”
The West Australian Football Commission, on behalf of the AFL, has confirmed the Fremantle Dockers will play the Western Bulldogs in Bunbury in a NAB Challenge Cup match.
The match will take place at 3.30pm on Saturday 5 March at Hands Oval.
Gates open at 11.30am, but local teams to play a curtain raiser are yet to be confirmed.
Parking will be available at Forrest Park in Blair Street.
Clarke Street from Blair to Spencer Streets will be closed to traffic.
Tickets are available from Jetset Travel in Spencer Street or from www.ticketmaster.com.au
Kevin Sheedy has put clubs such as Fremantle on notice that Greater Western Sydney will spend two years trying to poach uncontracted players to the AFL’s 18th club.
And the Giants coach claimed that a poor 2011 by the Dockers will lift the new club’s prospects of luring uncontracted Fremantle players for their debut season in 2012.
Sheedy would not discuss specific recruiting targets but players of the calibre of Michael Johnson, Paul Duffield, Chris Mayne, Rhys Palmer and Kepler Bradley are out of contract at the end of the year.
Fremantle had a stunning rise in 2010, defying pre-season predictions of doom to advance to the second week of the finals.
Was Brisbane’s Brendan Fevola trade the worst ever? What about Todd Ridley for Matthew Lloyd? Replay Ando’s debate with readers here.
As the Brisbane Lions contemplate the result of their disastrous trade for Brendan Fevola, Jon Anderson assesses the worst trade decisions of all time.
1: Matthew Lloyd (Ess) for Todd Ridley (Fre) – 1995
Hard to go past Fremantle falling in love with home boy Todd Ridley and giving up a pre-draft compensatory selection which the Bombers couldn’t pull out quickly enough to use on Lloyd. Ridley disappeared into the ether while Lloyd kicked a lazy 926 goals for the Bombers.
2: Scott Lucas (Ess) for Tony Delaney (Fre) – 1994
A year before Lloyd joined Essendon, the Fremantle Dockers swapped pick No.4 for Tony Delaney. Like Ridley, Delaney had little influence. Lucas, however, played 270 games for 471 goals plus won a best-and-fairest and a premiership.
Fremantle will continue to play its youngsters and experiment with players in new positions in this Saturday’s NAB Challenge fixture against Adelaide, assistant coach Barry Mitchell says.
Fremantle made an immediate exit from the NAB Cup after experimenting with new and young players against West Coast and Hawthorn at Patersons Stadium 10 days ago.
Mitchell said the approach would continue this week and the club wouldn’t look to field its best line-up until the final two practice matches of the pre-season.
“Probably the last practice match especially, and probably a half a game of the practice match before,” Mitchell said from Fremantle Oval on Wednesday.
“What we’re trying to do is get the team together for the first round.
“I think particularly for the new players, you put them in a few different situations and see how they go. Sometimes you get a bit of a surprise.
It’s taken seven seasons in the AFL system, but Fremantle big man Kepler Bradley is hopeful the new interchange rules will help him finally settle into his ideal position.
Bradley, a former first-round draft pick who has survived rather than thrived since being recruited by Essendon with pick No.6 in the 2003 AFL Draft, is a candidate to play the ‘Leigh Brown role’ for Fremantle this season.
Much like Brown did for Collingwood in its premiership charge, Bradley filled dual roles for Fremantle in 12 games last season, averaging more than a goal a game as a mobile forward and offering support in the ruck.
With interchange benches reduced to three players and one substitute in 2011, having a versatile forward-ruckman shapes as an important asset for clubs this year.
And after a four-month program that has seen him shed weight and reduce his skinfolds to a career low, Bradley said he was ready to nail down the position for Fremantle.
“The interchange has probably hindered some tall blokes, but I reckon it might be to my advantage,” Bradley told afl.com.au.