Archive for December, 2011

Purple change


During the Christmas/New Year break, looks at each club and how they’re tracking for the 2011 pre-season.

FB:       Paul Duffield            Zac Dawson          Alex Silvagni
HB:      Greg Broughton       Luke McPharlin     Nick Suban
C:         Anthony Morabito   Michael Barlow     Stephen Hill
HF:      Matt de Boer            Matthew Pavlich    Chris Mayne
FF:       Hayden Ballantyne  Kepler Bradley       Zac Clarke
FOLL: Aaron Sandilands    David Mundy         Nat Fyfe
I/C:      Tendai Mzungu        Ryan Crowley        Nick Lower
SUB:    Garrick Ibbotson

Medical room
Anthony Morabito remains in the rehabilitation group as he returns from a knee reconstruction, with Nat Fyfe, Nick Lower and Garrick Ibbotson also on restricted training following shoulder reconstructions. All are completing running programs and expect to be fit for round one. David Mundy, Michael Barlow, Viv Michie, Michael Johnson, Jay van Berlo and Michael Walters are others with modified programs.


Freo’s $30m dream home


Fremantle want to establish a $30 million training and administration facility within five years as part of a redevelopment of historic Fremantle Oval.

The redevelopment would create a mixed-use community facility which would also incorporate space for South Fremantle Football Club and University of Notre Dame.

The ambitious plan, which hinges on the Department of Lands approving a fresh use for the Stan Reilly Centre which is next to the ground on the south side, would incorporate part of the club’s existing administration and training centre built 11 years ago.

The City of Fremantle recommended last month that the Department of Lands approve the site’s new use.

The City, South Fremantle, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the AFL have also been involved in the club’s planning for the development which would more than double the size of the Dockers’ existing presence at its spiritual home to about 7500sqm.


Fremantle ruckman Jon Griffin confident of more opportunities


Jonathon Griffin is hopeful the arrival of Ross Lyon will breathe new life into his Fremantle career and says he, Aaron Sandilands and Zac Clarke could form the strongest ruck battery in the AFL.

Griffin did not play a single game alongside triple All-Australian Sandilands as he ended a frustrating first season at the Dockers with just seven senior appearances.

The former Adelaide Crow was left to languish in the WAFL in the early part of the season, before a hip injury prematurely ended his campaign after he showed some sparkling form filling in for injured Sandilands.


Just the Spurr for Dockers


New Fremantle rookie Lee Spurr’s story is one of genuine persistence.

Spurr was on the verge of leaving SANFL powerhouse Central District four years ago to return home to Brisbane, but opted to stay and work on several key aspects of his game that the coaches had identified as areas needing improvement.

They included increasing his speed and adding intensity to his attack on the ball.

The result was a key role in Central’s continued dominance of the SANFL and, eventually, a shot at the big time after Fremantle selected Spurr with pick eight in Tuesday’s rookie draft.


Dawson to repay faith


Pre-season recruit Zac Dawson says he considers himself extremely lucky to finally be a Fremantle player and he has his sights set on a strong 2012 season to repay the club.

The key defender, who joined Fremantle this week via the NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft, walked out on St Kilda in November after 63 games – including the 2009 and 2010 Grand Finals – rejecting a new contract offer from the club.

Fremantle pounced with pick No.10 in Tuesday’s draft and Dawson said he was fortunate to be given a third AFL chance, having started his career with Hawthorn in 2004.

“I was extremely lucky to get a second chance and now to get a third chance, it doesn’t happen very often,” the 25-year-old said from Fremantle Oval on Friday.

“I’m very thankful to the club and Ross [Lyon] and everyone who helped me get over here.

“I feel like I owe them and I’m very grateful for my situation.”


Jumper Real Estate: 3, 11 and 43 no longer vacant


Fremantle’s jumper numbers for season 2012 have been released with new recruits Zac Dawson and Jordan Wilson-King being allocated numbers 3 and 43 respectively, which were previously worn by 2011 retiring players Byron Schammer and Roger Hayden.

In other allocations Nick Lower has moved up the number chain to guernsey 10 while the club’s first pick in the 2011 NAB AFL National Draft, Tom Sheridan, will wear the prized number 11 guernsey worn by past club greats Dale Kickett and Des Headland.


Burswood site for new stadium


Perth’s new 60,000-seat stadium will be built on the back nine holes of the Burswood Park Golf Course, immediately south of the Graham Farmer Freeway.

Premier Colin Barnett today officially unveiled the Government’s choice for the $700 million stadium’s location. It will occupy a spot bounded by the freeway and the Armadale train line to the north and east and the existing lake on the golf course’s western edge.

The Government, which previously indicated the stadium would be built somewhere on the Burswood peninsula, believes the site is the best spot because it will provide enough room for $300 million of new public transport infrastructure to be constructed on the rail line while providing convenient pedestrian access across the river from a new footbridge.


Four stars win a start in AFL rookie draft


Territory players took four big marks in yesterday’s AFL rookie draft.

Darwin Buffalo Jordan Wilson and Federal utility Gibson Turner are joining Fremantle and Richmond.

Former Western Bulldog and Tiwi islander Malcolm Lynch heads to North Melbourne at pick No. 43 and Anthony Long (ex-St Marys) gets a second chance at Essendon after the Bombers targeted him at pick No. 85.

Richmond got Turner at pick No. 60 in the draft, while Fremantle went for Wilson at No. 61.


Hayden will give rookie heads up on defending


Rookie Jordan King-Wilson will serve an apprenticeship under the guidance of the very man whose place he will be aiming to take in Fremantle’s ranks.

The 18-year-old from Darwin, who will head west after being selected with pick No.61 in the AFL rookie draft, has already been earmarked as a potential like-for- like replacement for defender Roger Hayden.

And it will be to Hayden whom the teenager will be able to turn to during his first pre-season, with the retired veteran now serving as a development coach at the Dockers.

Fremantle list manager Brad Lloyd did not hide the distinct similarities between the pair.

Both are offensively-minded defenders capable of streaming out of the back line and using the ball with precision.

It was a trait King-Wilson showed repeatedly with the Northern Territory Thunder and with North Adelaide while boarding in Adelaide this year.


Sam to play it again at Freo


AFL football is a roller-coaster, but is not meant to be as tense as it has been for Sam Menegola over the past month.

The tension was replaced by relief and happiness yesterday when Fremantle drafted him with their third pick in the rookie draft.

Menegola had at least three clubs interested. He was on West Coast, Fremantle and St Kilda’s shortlists. But there were also nagging doubts because the last month had taught him to take nothing for granted.

“That’s a very hard way to make a living,” he said. “A roller-coaster. I am just relieved that it is over and I am excited that I have got a gig. Now I just have to put my head down and try and play some good footy.”

The story started 12 months ago when Fremantle, the club he had trained with and who intended drafting him with pick 20 in the rookie draft, were pipped by Hawthorn, who took him at pick 19.

At season’s end he was the subject of a failed trade between the Hawks and Saints which ended unhappily when Hawthorn de-listed him.


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