Fremantle have committed to re-rookie Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely in the upcoming NAB AFL Rookie Draft after the pair were delisted to open up two spots on the Club’s Primary List.
AFL clubs are allowed to have between 36 and 38 players on their Primary List and up to six Category A rookies to bring their list to a maximum of 42 players.
Category B rookies, including Fremantle’s recent commitment to sign Northern Irishman Ultan Kelm, are outside of that cap of 42 players.
By moving Crowden and Blakely to the Rookie List, Fremantle now have 32 Primary List players and five Category A rookies on their list.
As all players taken at the 2021 NAB AFL National Draft are automatically given a two-year contract on the Primary List, the move allows Fremantle the ability to take two extra players at the National Draft, where Fremantle hold selections 6, 8, 19, 61 and 69.
Executive General Manager of Football Peter Bell was thankful to Crowden and Blakely for their selflessness in agreeing to move to the Rookie List, and stressed that a players’ list status did not affect their standing at the Club or their ability to earn selection.
“In order to give us flexibility as we approach the draft, the tough decision to delist Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely was made in consultation with both of the players and their management groups,” Bell said.
“With the delisting comes our commitment to re-rookie them both in the Rookie Draft immediately after the National Draft.
“It is important to note that whether players are on the Primary List or the Rookie List, it makes no difference to their chances of selection. 
“In recent times, we’ve seen both Lachie Schultz and Ethan Hughes playing a lot of footy from the Rookie List, as well as earn themselves multi-year contractual extensions. This move is primarily for administration reasons and both players have been fantastic in allowing the Club this flexibility.”