Fremantle Dockers recruits being urged to seize their chances
Senior Fremantle official Brad Lloyd has backed two of the club’s later draft picks to push for early selection.
Lloyd, general manager of player management, said midfielders Lachie Neale, taken by the Dockers at pick 58 overall in the national draft, and Cameron Sutcliffe (No.71) had been standouts since joining Fremantle in November.
As the Dockers hosted the families of their nine draftees last weekend in an orientation camp, Lloyd urged the youngsters to seize their opportunities for early selection, saying a young list had opened the door for players who wanted to take their chances.
“We’ll assess them over the coming weeks and months to see where we fit them in at NAB Cup and senior level,” he said.
“We’ve drafted well over 40 players in the last four drafts and the fact is, nearly every player on our list is young. So, there’s plenty of opportunities and if any of these boys want to jump up early and grab them, it’s up to them. It’s hard to predict at this stage who’ll jump up first.
“Two of the later picks, our last two players in the national draft Lachie Neale and Cameron Sutcliffe have been training really well. Lachie’s going really well in the football side of things and Cam is an elite endurance runner and has been contributing really well.”
Lloyd said despite Fremantle’s heavy drafting in recent years, the club had yet to find the list balance it was chasing and, with veterans such as Luke McPharlin, Aaron Sandilands, Antoni Grover and Matthew Pavlich in the twilight of their careers, the Dockers were constantly working on the eventual succession plan.
“There’s still a little bit of work to do with the list and to develop those players coming in into what we need them to be,” Lloyd said.
“We look forward to the next few drafts, which are looking strong at this stage. We’ve turned over lists dramatically over the last four drafts. With so many new players coming into the club, we’re just seeing where the list settles, which players are going to grab the opportunity and kick on, and which players are not.
“I don’t think you can expect anyone to fill Sandi or Pav’s role straight away and, in saying that, they’ve got a hell of a lot of footy left in them. But we’re doing our best to firstly find, then develop our guys into being players like Pav and Sandi and Luke McPharlin.”
DOCKERS DRAFT DAY
Pick Name Age at draft Height Position
16. Tom Sheridan, 19, 185cm, MID
20. Hayden Crozier, 17, 184cm, FWD
29. Alex Forster, 18, 189cm, DEF
58. Lachy Neale, 18, 177cm, MID
71. Cameron Sutcliffe, 19, 187cm, MID
PRE-SEASON AND ROOKIE DRAFT
Zac Dawson, 25, 195cm, DEF
Lee Spurr, 24, 185cm, UTL
Haiden Schlothe, 18, 179cm, MID/FWD
Sam Menegola, 19, 187cm, FWD
Jordan King-Wilson, 18, 180cm, DEF
Clancee Pearce, 21, 184cm, DEF