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Blakely hopes to stick with new role

Tom Fee  July 16, 2017 3:57 PM

Connor Blakely spoke to Docker TV after Freo's clash with West Coast.

A new role in Fremantle’s backline is giving Connor Blakely another opportunity to develop, according to the 21-year-old.

Blakely’s strong performance at half-back was a highlight on an otherwise frustrating day as Fremantle fell to West Coast by 30-points in Sunday’s Carlton Draught Derby at Domain Stadium.

Blakely collected 33 disposals and took 11 marks while providing plenty of run out of Freo’s backline, with five rebound 50s and four inside 50s.

It’s the third time Blakely has played at half-back since moving from the midfield against Brisbane in round 12.

Blakely helped Freo bring plenty of pressure into the contest, laying 15 more tackles than the Eagles – with Blakely leading Freo's tackle count with six tackles alongside Hayden Crozier and Nat Fyfe.

“Obviously playing a half-back role you try and negate your opponents as much as you can,” Blakely said.

“So any chance that I have to lay a tackle I try to do that.”

Blakely forms part of a relatively inexperienced Fremantle backline with the more experienced Michael Johnson and Lee Spurr working alongside Joel Hamling, Luke Ryan and Griffin Logue.

Between them, Blakely, Hamling, Ryan and Logue combine for 84 games experience.

“I’ve been playing half-back for the past three games now, I’m starting to find my groove there a little bit,” Blakely said.

“They boys down there have helped me a lot with communication and things like that. 

“It’s a bit different to playing midfield all the time. I’m really enjoying it and hopefully, I get to stay there for a while.”

Blakely said Freo will be working on improving their forward entries. Fremantle created 11 more inside 50 entries than West Coast, yet the Eagles kicked six more goals on the day.

“It’s more about our ball-use and entries where we just let ourselves down,” Blakely said.

“I think it was really even in the midfield, our boys tried really hard and the Eagles have a really good midfield themselves, we’ve just got to work on our polish going inside 50.

Obviously, we tried hard all day. I think with our use - it was a bit scratchy and not as polished as what we wanted it to be.”

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