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Three in 22under22 squad

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Sean Darcy of the Dockers celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2017 AFL round 15 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the St Kilda Saints at Domain Stadium on July 02, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media)
Sean Darcy is one of three Freo players in the running to make the 22under22 team

Three Fremantle players are in the running to make the AFL Players’ Association 22under22 team after being named in the initial squad of 40. 

Defender Connor Blakely, ruckman Sean Darcy and forward Cam McCarthy have been named in the squad as some of the best young talent in the AFL. 

If they make the final team, the trio will join the likes of past Freo 22under22 players Nat Fyfe, Lachie Neale and Michael Walters.

To be eligible for selection, players must be aged 22 years and under for the entirety of the season, including finals. 


19-year-old Sean Darcy has impressed from his eight appearances in 2017, averaging 34 hitouts per game - including a season-high 45 against Richmond in round 22.

Connor Blakeley relished a move to Freo’s defence half way through the season, averaging 23.9 disposals before his season-ending shoulder injury – sustained against GWS in round 19.

McCarthy, who turned 22 in April, arrived at Fremantle during the 2016 Trade Period.

With 25 goals, McCarthy is leading Fremantle’s goalkicking by one with one round to play, ahead of fellow recruit Shane Kersten.

Freo legend and AFLPA president Matthew Pavlich said finalising the squad of young stars was a difficult task given the standard of talent on display.

“There’s quality in every position and given the impact some of these players are already having on the competition, it’s hard to believe they are still in the infancy of their careers,” Pavlich said.

“This concept gives us the opportunity to recognise the young players across the competition who are the next generation of stars. It’s also something the fans can genuinely impact, so make sure your vote counts.”

Now in its fifth year, 22Under22 is the industry’s only recognised fan-voted award and provides the footy public with the power to select the final 22.

Fans can now visit to cast their vote, before the final team is revealed at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards on Tuesday, September 12.

Fans who submit a team that matches the final 22Under22 team will automatically go into the draw to win an AFL Players’ prize pack.

Voting closes on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs