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Hill thrilled with Freo’s Indigenous culture

Ned Balme  January 14, 2016 1:00 PM

AFL 2015 First Qualifying Final - Fremantle v Sydney

Stephen Hill is thrilled with Freo's Indigenous culture.

The Fremantle Dockers have a rich heritage of Indigenous footballers, which is set to continue according to Stephen Hill.

Freo added a further two Indigenous players to its proud lineage with the acquisitions of Shane Yarran and Harley Bennell.

“They’re great players so if we can get them fit and healthy, I’m sure they’ll have a massive impact,” Hill said.

“It always helps having a big group of Indigenous guys, it helps everyone fit in and it’s always a very welcoming environment,” he added.

Surpassing 150 games last season, Hill was inducted as a Fremantle Dockers Life Member, an honour he humbly attributed to a combination of diligent preparation and a fair amount of luck.

“I recover as much as I can and do all the things required to get my body right,”

“But at the same time, I know I’ve been pretty lucky not to have any serious injuries.”

Johnno eyes Indigenous record

Hill’s resilience has him in good stead to eventually pass teammate Michael Johnson as the Indigenous games record holder for Fremantle. 

Johnson surpassed the previous record of 202 games (Antoni Grover) in round 22 last season, an achievement that Hill admits is a source of friendly competition between the two.

“We’ve had a bit of a mess around talking about it.” Hill revealed.

“’Johnno’ recently got it which is a big achievement, but he always says that I’ll probably fly past him.

“I think he just wants to have it for himself for a bit.” he laughed.

While joking about individual accolades is all just part of the fun for Hill and Johnson, the classy midfielder acknowledged that being part of the decorated Indigenous culture at Fremantle is a privilege in its own right.

“With Troy Cook, Antoni Grover and of course Michael, it’s just good to be alongside them as a Life Members and hopefully there’ll be many more join us in the future.”

Top 10 Indigenous players for Fremantle
Michael Johnson - 205 games
Antoni Grover - 202 games
Stephen Hill - 151 games
Troy Cook - 150 games
Dale Kickett - 135 games
Jeff Farmer - 131 games
Roger Hayden - 128 games
Des Headland - 114 games
Steven Koops - 78 games
Danyle Pearce/Michael Walters - 72 games