Fremantle CEO Simon Garlick has outlined Freo’s strategy for the upcoming AFL draft and trade periods in a radio interview on ABC Radio on Saturday.
Garlick said Fremantle were looking into targeting the best midfield and forward prospects at the draft, alluding to the depth of forwards expected to be snapped up early in the draft, including WA-based players Neil Erasmus (Subiaco) Jye Amiss (East Perth), Jack Williams (East Fremantle), Jacob Van Rooyen (Claremont) and NGA prospect Jesse Motlop (South Fremantle).
Fremantle currently hold picks eight and 27 at the draft, however this is likely to change at the trade table with midfielder Adam Cerra requesting a trade back to Victoria.
“We often talk about those big body mids who can go both ways in contested footy and use it really well,” Garlick told ABC Radio.
“I think there's a real opportunity for us from a forward of the ball scenario to bring some talent in as well.
“We've always had inconsistency (up front) unfortunately, through injury as much as anything.
“We'd certainly like some support for (Matt) Taberner and (Rory) Lobb. (Josh) Treacy is coming through and we've seen the talents and capability he's got but he's incredibly young and still got a lot to learn and develop from that perspective as well.
“I think it's a bit difficult to pin down the exact type of player but...we'll be looking at prioritising mid and forward type players.”
Garlick said Fremantle had enjoyed better success in the draft than in trades and would look to continue to prioritise the draft unless a significant opportunity arose.
“It's certainly our overriding priority to utilise our first round draft picks for high talent, high character youth,” Garlick said.
“Our list management teams do a fantastic job and our record in recent years has been strong from that perspective, that's our priority but there's clearly exceptions to that.
“In previous years, where we've (traded in players), it hasn't quite worked out for us. Whilst we would consider that type of thing, our overarching philosophy is to go to the draft.
“Clearly, we aren't closing ourselves off from any options if they'd present themselves and are pretty compelling.”
Garlick said he was confident Fremantle would get fair value for Cerra in the trade period.
“I think Adam and his management are very cognisant of the fact that we've invested a significant amount and clearly haven't had the return, particularly from a longevity perspective,” Garlcik said.
“I think there's a real understanding that they will do what they can to ensure that we get fairly compensated.
“We'll be pushing our case incredibly hard to be getting the right type of result and working with Adam and his management team in particular and then the clubs (on the other side of the trade) to see what we can do.”