Fremantle is working on developing hard-at-it midfielder Jay van Berlo by adding an attacking edge to the 23-year-old’s game.

Van Berlo, who was Freo’s WAFL player of the week lining up for West Perth in the first round of the competition, has played as a defensive-minded midfielder/forward in recent seasons.

Freo assistant coach Simon Lloyd said the club was eager to see van Berlo improve on the attacking aspects of his game.

“Ross Lyon wants to see Jay play more as an inside mid and on the wing,” he said.

“That’s our focus. We want to get Jay in and around the stoppages, so we’re working on his body positioning and him being able to reposition his opponent.”

Lloyd said the club also wanted to see more run and carry enter van Berlo’s game.

“We’ve spoken about building that as part of his game,” he said.

“When Jay gets the ball and he’s got 20 or 30 metres, we want to see him give us that run and carry.”

Lloyd said van Berlo displayed some good signs against Subiaco last Saturday.

“Jay showed some good body work inside stoppages,” he said.

“That’s something we’ll continue to build with him so we can see him become more of an inside midfielder.”

There were only two official WAFL fixtures in round 1. The non-competing club’s played scratch matches. Lloyd shared his WAFL notes for all the Fremantle Dockers who played:

League – Claremont 15.11 (101) defeated Perth 8.11 (59)

Nick Suban (Cla) – 14 disposals (9 kicks, 5 handballs), 7 marks, 4 tackles

Nick played between wing and half-back in the first half and then went back to half-back for the majority of the second half. He worked very hard defensively and showed that his positioning and tackling were where they needed to be. We felt that he played according to expectations. Nick’s greatest asset is his ball use so we want to make sure he gets into positions where he can receive the ball.

Reserves – Perth 18.5 (113) defeated Claremont 9.7 (61)

Gavin Roberts (Per) – 16 disposals (8 kicks, 8 handballs), 4 marks, 3 tackles, 2 goals

This was Gavin’s first major hit out for a very long time. The positives were that he got through, playing on a wing. When he had the ball his skill was good.Gavin kicked a couple of nice goals on the run. He’ll be better for the run and I’m looking forward to watching him this weekend.

League – Subiaco 13.7 (85) defeated West Perth 8.13 (61)

Jay van Berlo (WP) – 21 disposals, (11 kicks, 10 handballs), 5marks, 2 tackles, 4 inside 50, 1 goal

Jay played the first half on a wing and then went in as an inside midfielder in the second half. It was a really solid, physical hit out. He showed plenty of run in hot conditions. Jay worked consistently hard to get from contest to contest and his use was good. I felt that he got West Perth back into the game in the third quarter.

Practice matches:

Haiden Schloithe (South Fremantle) – Haiden played mostly as a high forward with a run on the ball in the third quarter. The biggest thing for us was his impact around the stoppages and the contests. He had three efforts where he constantly put his head over the ball and tackled hard. He’s got some good size about him and, on a number of occasions, his secondary efforts resulted in ground-ball wins and quick gives. The big thing we’re working on with Haiden is that, at times, he’s got to react quicker to when the stoppage moves on.

Sam Menegola (East Fremantle) – Sam played as a wing and a high forward. One of his greatest assets is his run and Sam covered a lot of territory. The best thing we saw was in the last quarter when he started to have a real impact. He got involved in the contested footy, which is a major focus. He won two centre bounce clearances off the wing and won a strong contested ground ball. They all resulted in goals. We’re trying to maximise his ability to run by working with him on his running patterns.

Tom Sheridan (Peel) – 
Tom played mainly on the wing. We were very happy with his ability to react in transition from an offensive side and also a defensive side. His defensive disciplines were very good and he showed a really quick reaction to the state of play, which is crucial in the game of AFL footy. We were happy with Tom’s ball use and his positioning. He displayed good run and carry, he stayed involved in the play, always gave the first option and defensively worked very hard in his running patterns.

Michael Walters (Swan Districts) – 
Ashley Prescott watched Michael play for Swan Districts. He played in the midfield and up forward. One of Michael’s greatest assets is his ball use and his kicking was very good. His inside work at the stoppages was also pleasing. He’s progressing well.

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