Clancee giving it his all
Being delisted at the end of the 2011 season has proven to be the driving force behind Clancee Pearce’s standout pre-season.
Following his delisting, 21-year-old Pearce, who spent three seasons on Freo’s rookie list, was offered the opportunity to stay on at the club and train in the hope of being re-drafted in the Rookie Draft.
And train he did, opting to remain at Freo rather than go on leave at season’s end.
“That was the big one, getting delisted,” Pearce said.
“I decided not to have a break. I kept training and stuck to my diet.
“When the main group came back, I felt pretty fit.”
The arrival of Ross Lyon as the new senior coach also had a huge impact on Pearce’s footy.
“I’ve really enjoyed Ross coming over,” he said.
“He’s given me a new role on the wing and on half-back.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air and I’m really starting to enjoy my footy.”
Pearce’s commitment earned him another shot at the AFL when Freo picked him up in the Rookie Draft last December.
His past two NAB Cup games have been impressive, collecting 25 touches against Richmond and 22 on Saturday against Port Adelaide in Victor Harbor.
Pearce said he could clearly feel the improvements in his game out on the field compared to a year ago.
“I’ve shed a few kilos and my high speed intensity, like sprinting, has gone up to another level,” he said.
“My general run around the ground has picked up, too. I’m getting to more contests.”
However, being rookie listed means there’s no guarantee that Pearce will get a game for Freo.
The club already has two veterans (Grover and Pavlich) which means unless a player is moved onto the long-term injury list, Pearce will be ineligible to play until after round 11, as AFL rules stipulate each club can upgrade a rookie at that time (referred to as the nominated rookie) without a player going onto the long-term injury list.
But he’s not worried about that.
“I try not to think about it too much,” Pearce said.
“I’m just going to go out there and play my role. Ross is a big one for sticking to your role.
“I’ve had a good summer and, hopefully, I can keep it going and get onto the senior list.”
Following the NAB Cup round 3 match, Pearce said Fremantle needed to focus on getting better starts in games, after the Power jumped out to an early lead that it never relinquished.
“Our start was a bit slow,” Pearce said.
“We got beaten at the centre bounce and Port got on top early.
“There’s a few things we need to tidy up, but we’ll remain positive and know that we can learn from this game and focus on improving next time.”