Freo unveils new recruits
Fremantle unveiled the newest five members of its squad at Fremantle headquarters today, with the club’s 2012 draftees joining senior development/assistant coach Simon Lloyd in a media conference.
The three South Australian and two Victorian youngsters, who all now call WA home, handled the cameras and the questions with confidence and understated poise.
Victorian Tom Sheridan, the 16th pick in the National Draft, said he was honoured to be a Fremantle Docker.
“It’s a great club,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get on the track and start training.
“It’s a dream come true to get on a list and come to such a good club.”
Sheridan’s father, Brian, was on Essendon’s list when he was a teenager, but his career was cut short after he broke both his legs in a car accident.
“He went back but the surgeon said any more knocks and he’d be crippled by the time he was 40 or 50.
“It’s an inspirational story for me.”
Hayden Crozier has already learnt a valuable lesson about hierarchy on his first day at the club.
The young Victorian and his fellow draftees wandered into the club’s lecture theatre earlier in the day before a full team meeting.
The only problem was that Crozier chose his new captain Matthew Pavlich’s chair to sit in.
“It probably wasn’t the best option… but I’ve learnt from that,” he said.
Crozier, who ranked second overall in the running vertical jump at the draft combine, described himself as an athletic half-forward.
“I see myself as a half-forward but I definitely like to play around the ground,” he said.
Freo’s pick 29, Alex Forster, revealed an intriguing link with Lachie Neale, who the club selected at number 58.
The pair are both from the SA town of Kybybolite (Kybie) and have been friends since childhood.
They played football with each other at the Kybie under 14s.
Forster, the vice-captain of SA’s under 18s championships team, said he couldn’t believe that he and Neale have ended up at the same club.
“When his name was called out it was a bit surreal,” Forster said.
“Even now it doesn’t really feel like it’s happened.”
Forster said despite being so close off the field, he and Neale are very different players on it.
“Lachie plays in the midfield, where I’m more of a tall half-back,” he said.
Neale was best-on-ground with 40 possessions in Glenelg’s losing SANFL under 18s Grand Final earlier this year.
But, in a sign that should impress his new club, the youngster said his own performance was irrelevant compared to the overall result for the team.
“I haven’t reflected on my own game having lost that,” he said.
“It was just disappointing that we couldn’t win the game.”
Neale also managed to play seven league games for Glenelg, which he said would be invaluable for him.
“Having that experience was good and helped me a lot,” he said.
“I’m just thankful that (Glenelg coach) Kris Massey gave me that chance.”
Also a South Australian, Cam Sutcliffe joins Fremantle from Woodville-West Torrens – the same club Matthew Pavlich played for.
Sutcliffe will live with Pavlich until he moves in with his host family.
After missing out on being drafted into the AFL last year, Sutcliffe said he wasn’t holding his breath to get picked this year.
“I didn’t really expect much, but to get drafted to Fremantle, it’s great,” he said.
“It’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
The hard work now truly begins for the Freo five as they join their teammates in preparing for the 2012 season.