Ballantyne boost for midfield
Fremantle is planning to add speed to its midfield with the aid of livewire forward Hayden Ballantyne.
The club is trying to develop Ballantyne’s midfield game in the hope of turning him into a long-term onballer.
At Fremantle’s first training session for 2012 on Wednesday, Ballantyne spent time in the middle while simulating match conditions and is expected to further his development in next month’s NAB Cup.
“[Playing Ballantyne in the middle] will add a fair bit of pace to our midfield group,” Fremantle stoppages coach Mark Stone said.
“We do have a lot of big guys, so with [Stephen] Hill and him in there that might give us a bit of leg speed that we’re looking for.
“We’re trying to develop that side of his game.”
Stone said the squad had returned in good condition from its Christmas break.
“It was a good, solid session today, 50 minutes of football and they handled it pretty well and then some running to follow,” he said.
“We got off to a bit of a slow start, but they’ve really gained momentum particularly in the past month just prior to the Christmas break and they’ve come back in good shape.
“The fitness levels are really starting to build.”