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United by Purple

Valente puts ‘serious’ work into midfield game

'Leadership is a strength of my game' - Valente Luke Valente talks to the media on his first day in purple

Draftee midfielder Luke Valente will look to the likes of Nat Fyfe and David Mundy at training as he works on becoming a strong stoppage player at Fremantle.

The 18-year-old, who captained South Australia to their NAB AFL U18 Championship win, said he prides himself on his desire to perfect his craft.

“I like to think that my leadership is a strength of my game and I also take my footy very seriously,” Valente said.

“I try and do everything I can off the field to make sure I’m playing some good footy.”

In his draft year, Valente impressed with his ability to win the football as well as his ball use.

He led the U18 championships for clearances and ranked second for kicking efficiency from all midfielders in the competition.

He said he always pays close attention to the AFL’s best midfielders. 

“There’s a few I look up to, Sam Mitchell, Scott Pendlebury, Rory Sloane…they’re midfielders that I try and learn off when I’m watching,” Valente said.

“Also Nat Fyfe and David Mundy, for their stoppage ability and ball use. 

“My goal now is to work hard and, hopefully, I can put in a good pre-season. I think anything is possible after that.”

After getting picked up from the airport by teammate, fellow South Australian and good friend Stefan Giro, Valente joined Freo’s new draftees at Aaron Sandilands’ house for dinner on Sunday night. 

“Stefan came and picked me up from the airport yesterday, which was really nice of him,” Valente said.

“I’m living with him and Bailey Banfield and Lloyd Meek. They’ve all been really welcoming so far.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into training with them all and get to know them a bit better.”

See all of Fremantle's new draftees and new recruits - including Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb - at the club's Annual Members' Meeting on Tuesday 27 November at Optus Stadium.

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