Young midfielder Jesse Crichton was thrown some testing roles in his first six AFL games last season but the benefits are clear to see in his second year with Fremantle.

The feisty Tasmanian, who was recruited with pick No.48 in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft, was Fremantle’s WAFL player of the week in round three of the state competition after a strong showing for Peel Thunder.

Fremantle assistant coach Simon Lloyd said the 19-year-old was clearly out-muscled at times in his debut season, but a strong summer program has him better prepared for his next opportunity at senior level.

“He had some big names that he played on last year, including Cyril Rioli down in Launceston, and I think that’s a credit to Mark Harvey looking at the bigger picture,” Lloyd said.

“Looking at both Justin Bollenhagen and Jesse, they’ve definitely put on some size.

“After a year of senior footy, they’re more seasoned now and they know what to expect. Their bodies can cope with the demands.”

Peel played its first game of the WAFL season in round three, losing by 54 points to a strong Claremont outfit.

Lloyd said Crichton had regularly performed well for Peel, despite the club’s on-field struggles.

“Watching him last year, you find with Jesse, he doesn’t flow with how Peel are travelling, whether they’re playing well or not,” Lloyd said.

“It says a bit about his character. He’s the type of kid that we’ve recruited that always has a crack and shows real intent.

“He’s shown that and we expect it week in, week out.”

Ahead of this week’s clash with Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, Lloyd shared his WAFL notes with fremantlefc.com.au.

Perth 15.11 (101) d South Fremantle 15.10 (100)

Casey Sibosado
Casey played key defence for Perth, predominantly on Callum Wilson. For somebody who hasn’t had a big pre-season, he only conceded one goal and we only saw him beaten in one contest and that was on the lead. He’s really improved in his defensive positioning and he showed a fair amount of speed at times.

Justin Bollenhagen
Justin’s work-rate offensively was good and he was involved in several goal assists. His consistent involvement in passages of play will continue to be a focus in the coming weeks. He pushed hard into attack to kick a good goal himself and showed strong intent defensively.

Gavin Roberts (reserves)
Gavin hasn’t played in a little while, so it took him time to get into the game playing for Perth’s reserves side. Gavin’s got really good acceleration and AFL speed, and he’s not afraid to take opponents on. He played a half and got through with no worries, so we’ll build that up to around three quarters this week.

Subiaco 16.12 (108) d East Fremantle 12.12 (84)

Jack Anthony
Jack worked very hard with his leading for Subiaco in the first quarter and was in some very good positions. He showed repeat efforts and repeat leads and the goal he kicked in the final quarter was through those second and third efforts. He’s really improved his defensive work through the running and conditioning work he’s completed.

Jonathon Griffin
‘Griff’ started strongly for East Fremantle, showing some really good ruck work and spreading well from stoppages. He played on Michael Rix and looked dangerous when he went forward. He positioned himself well behind the ball and played an AFL style of game with his spread from stoppages.

Claremont 19.10 (124) d Peel Thunder 10.10 (70)

Jesse Crichton

Jesse had 25 possessions for Peel and really started the game well. He was aggressive, showed a high amount of drive to run and receive the ball and he was very creative and composed with his disposal.

Peter Faulks
Peter was in the day prior to playing Claremont watching tapes of his opponent Ian Richardson very closely, which tells you a bit about the professional attitude he took into this week. He did a very good job on Richardson, positioning well and pressing up from behind. He also played as a running back on Andrew Foster, holding both players goalless while he was opposed to them. It was a very positive game for Peter.

Viv Michie
Viv’s very creative and uses the ball well by hand, and he stood up strong in the tackle a number of times for Peel. He showed good skills and was strong overhead. Viv ‘s got a lot of great attributes, particularly with his skills under pressure.

West Perth 15.13 (103) d Swan Districts 13.8 (86)

Josh Mellington
It was a much-improved game from Josh this week, finishing with 3.2 for West Perth. He won the ball in dispute, led more frequently and his tackling pressure was good. He constantly moved inside 50 and looked dangerous around stoppages in the final quarter. Josh is a good size and has a bigger body than a lot of first-year players do when they first enter the system.

Clancee Pearce
Clancee showed a strong work ethic for Swan Districts and used the ball well at times, finishing with 22 disposals and nine marks. We were very pleased with his run up the ground and his skill level. We want him to play as a high running forward and that’s something he’s working towards at the moment.

East Perth 9.9 (63) d North Ballarat 9.7 (61)

Zac Clarke
Zac played the first 10 minutes of the first two quarters as a deep leading forward for East Perth in the Foxtel Cup, before moving into the ruck. He was involved in some good contests early, drawing a free kick, and he reacted well to stoppages and pushed up onto the wing to be used in the chain. He offered run and linked up well when he was used up the ground.

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