Andrew Brayshaw is optimistic that Fremantle have the talent to help cover the potential loss of Adam Cerra in the upcoming Trade Period, with the midfielder requesting a trade back to Victoria.
The pair were drafted to Fremantle in 2017 as top five selections, developing as a part of what is a promising Fremantle midfield.
Brayshaw said Cerra’s absence could create an opportunity for a number of Fremantle’s talented young players, highlighting skilful defender Hayden Young and speedy forward Michael Frederick.
“It’s going to be a big gap to fill but it provides opportunities to those who are maybe playing WAFL and haven’t had a chance at AFL level, or maybe even someone that we might look to try and get in the draft to fill that outside skilful role,” Brayshaw told ABC Grandstand.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge because he was a massive part of our engine room this season.
“Hayden Young is an awesome defender and he’s got a laser left foot who I could see potentially coming into more of a midfield role.
“He runs really well, uses the footy really well and he’s someone that comes to mind.
“Maybe even getting someone like Michael Frederick up onto a wing, he’s played a fair bit forward. I know he was injured for the last half of the season but giving those guys some more exposure through the midfield could be exciting.”
In an interview where he was awarded the Geoff Christian Medal as the best WA-based player in 2021 – as voted by the ABC commentary team – Brayshaw spoke about how he worked through being tagged.
The 21-year-old was first tagged in round three against Carlton and then again the week after against Hawthorn.
“It's a challenge that I never really imagined I would have to face,” Brayshaw said.
“To get that attention early on in my career, I’m trying to take it in my stride and take it as a sign of respect if someone comes and plays on me, it means the opposition think I'm a dangerous player.
“It definitely had its challenges coming up against teams where you're the target and getting pretty much bashed all day around the ground, it's really challenging.
“It happened on a couple of occasions throughout the year. The first time it happened to me I really struggled but I've been chatting with blokes like Nat Fyfe and David Mundy, guys who have experienced this for the last 10 years and they've given me some pointers.
“I think every time that I was tagged or a team targeted me I think I took a little step forward.”