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Banfield finding his feet

Bailey Banfield speaks to Docker TV. Bailey Banfield chats to Docker TV after the Round 4 clash against GWS.

Fremantle can hold their heads high despite a 31-point loss to GWS on Saturday at UNSW Canberra Oval, according to rookie draftee Bailey Banfield.

Freo’s second trip to Canberra in the club’s history was always going to be a big ask, with the Giants extending their winning streak at the ground to eight games.

Banfield also faced his toughest test yet, with the Giants paying extra attention to Freo's emerging tagger.

Despite the physical attention of the Giants, Banfield helped limit the impact of the likes of defender Lachie Whitfield and Dylan Shiel, while collecting 17 disposals and kicking his first career goal in the AFL.

 

By the main break, Whitfield had just six disposals to his name.

“I spent the first half on Whitfield and after half time I went to Shiel for a bit. In the last quarter I just played as a normal forward,” Banfield said.

“I got thrown around a little bit but that’s AFL footy for you. (As a tagger) the opposition love getting into you but you’ve just got to thrive on that and take it as it comes.”

“I think every game it gets harder as people start to figure out who you are and especially with my role.

“I think you just take something out of every game and keep learning and that’s all you can do.”

Going up against the Giants’ star-studded midfield, Fremantle won the battle in the middle with 12 more clearances and three more inside 50s.

Despite winning the midfield battle, Freo failed to connect with their forwards with just five of Freo’s 56 inside 50s leading to marks.

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“You look at the names in our midfield, Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters, David Mundy, Lachie Neale, they’re all elite AFL players,” Banfield said.

“With Aaron Sandilands in there as well, we’ve got the midfield to match it with anyone and I think we showed that today.”

Banfield said the swirling wind and rain late in the game didn’t make it easy on either side.

“Yeah that wind was nuts!” Banfield said.

“It was really tough conditions, especially when it started raining. Footy’s a winter sport so that’s what you’ve got to deal with.”

Fremantle can look forward to a return home to Optus Stadium, with a round five date with the Western Bulldogs next Saturday night for the Len Hall Tribute Game.

“We’ll take a lot of feedback from that result and we’ll come back in Monday really fresh and ready for a new challenge in the Bulldogs next Saturday,” Banfield said.

“Hopefully, we can pack it out. It’s obviously a really important occasion so we’ll put on a good show for the crowd.”

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