Fremantle’s Crowley future clouded
Rugged Fremantle follower Ryan Crowley faces an uncertain AFL future after he was denied a new contract this week.
Crowley, 27, has been told by Dockers football operations staff that no decision on his future will be made until after a full review of Fremantle’s playing list.
The Dockers dumped five players on Wednesday as a sweeping review escalated after Fremantle plummeted from finals contention with seven straight losses by an average of 49 points to tumble from sixth to finish 11th from Round 17 through to season’s end last week.
Crowley was told on Thursday along with other Dockers utility players Clancee Pearce and Michael Walters that they will not be offered contracts until probably after trading in the second week of October.
The Dockers have already axed defender Ben Bucovaz, tagger Clayton Hinkley as well as virtually untried youngsters Hamish Shepheard and Joel Houghton as well as injury ravaged winger Tim Ruffles.
Fremantle has also suffered retirement losses of popular running-defender Roger Hayden and Byron Schammer.
Hayden, 29 and with 128 senior games under his belt was forced out of the game with on-going leg injury woes, while Schammer, 26, was told he would not be offered another contract after his 129 games since 2003.
Crowley has played 115 Dockers games since his debut against Geelong in Round 10 back in 2005.
He is understood to be hopeful of a new two-year deal as the Dockers review their list for next season and beyond.
Fremantle is understood to have agreed to a new two-year contract for enigmatic big man Michael Johnson.
Johnson is one of only three Dockers that played all 22 games in 2011, along with nippy winger Stephen Hill and Chris Mayne.
Johnson, 26, copped some hefty criticism at times through his 2011 season for inconsistent performances and eventually averaged 14.5 possessions a week along with around five marks a game.