Fremantle Dockers torn between Shane Kersten and Josh Bootsma
Fremantle is torn between two local products for its No. 1 pick at this Thursday’s national draft, with South Fremantle youngsters Shane Kersten and Josh Bootsma both firmly in the club’s sights.
The Dockers are almost certain to have Kersten’s name pencilled in for their opening selection, with the 18-year-old revealing he has met with the club twice most recently in the past fortnight and was told “if I got my body right, I’d be in the mix to play early on next year”.
“I spoke to Freo again two weeks ago and they seem pretty interested, but you just never know until the day comes along,” Kersten said.
“I spoke to them before the (AFL Draft) Combine, with about eight of their recruiters.
“Two weeks ago, I met with their development coach (Simon Lloyd) and another one of their recruiters and had another chat 40 minutes.
“Simon Lloyd hadn’t spoken to me before, so he just wanted to get some background, what I was like and whether I had the drive for the AFL.”
Fremantle will likely be on the lookout for a strong forward such as Kersten to back up skipper Matthew Pavlich, but the Dockers’ No. 16 selection might not be enough, with every club except Adelaide having interviewed the teenager.
“Making the AFL is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, so to be given an opportunity, I’ll take it with both hands,” the apprentice painter said.
“Every day it gets closer is going to be a bit more nerve-racking . . . I’m just hoping I get picked up by anyone, but I suppose it’d be good to stay home.”
Colts teammate Bootsma, 18, also appears firmly in Fremantle’s sights, with the club having attempted to snare the defender under the father-son rule. His father, Brad, played 23 games for the Dockers and 163 with South.
“They seemed pretty keen when I spoke to them here before the draft (combine) and then over at the draft as well,” Bootsma said.
“Growing up watching Dad, Freo would be my No. 1 team to go to, but anywhere I go would still be a dream come true.”
North Melbourne and Sydney officials spoke with Bootsma before last month’s draft combine in Melbourne.