Jordan Clark’s first training session at Optus Stadium with Fremantle has made the upcoming start to the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season seem even more real to the defender.
Freo had their main session at their home ground on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Friday’s practice match against West Coast.
The former Cat has played at the ground twice previously, once in a loss to Fremantle in 2019 and another against Collingwood in 2020 when Geelong were hubbing in WA.
Fremantle face Adelaide in round one at Adelaide Oval before Clark and his teammates will have the chance to play in front of the Purple Army at Optus Stadium on 27 March against St Kilda.
“I’ve played here a couple times and it’s my first training session here as a Freo player. It’s awesome to be back (in WA) permanently and come out and run out (at Optus Stadium). It’s something I’ve dreamt of doing since I was a young boy and to be back home is awesome,” Clark said.
“I’m looking forward to getting in front of the Freo fans and seeing what we can do this year, it’s an exciting time around the Club and the changeroom.
“It’s a good time of the year approaching the (practice matches) and the early rounds. Everyone is looking forward to getting started, getting out there and playing against some opposition.”
The no.15 pick in the 2018 National Draft emerged as a someone to watch in his opening season with Geelong, playing 18 games and finishing fifth in the NAB AFL Rising Star voting in 2019.
The 21-year-old felt he played his best footy at half back and is looking forward to returning there under senior coach Justin Longmuir’s game plan.
“(Half back) is something I played early on in my career and sort of went away from. I always wanted to get back there,” Clark said.
“Freo and JL and Boydy (backline assistant coach Matthew Boyd) have been really accepting and let me have a run around there this summer and it’s been really good.
“I’m working really closely with Boydy and (development coach) Tendai (Mzungu) and I feel Like I’ve come a long way this summer and still have plenty of improvement left in me. I’m looking forward to it.”
He said he was excited to be part of the exciting young core at his new Club.
“(I can’t wait to play alongside) the young fellas, Caleb Serong and Andy Brayshaw, Sean Darcy and those sorts,” Clark said.
“In the backline, I love playing with Lukey Ryan and all those boys as well.”
Tuesday was rookie draftee Karl Worner’s first chance to run out onto Optus Stadium since arriving at the Club from Victoria last Monday.
“Karl’s a great kid, I had a lot to do with him (since) he’s been here. He looks like an awesome prospect going forward,” Clark said.
“He’s just rocked up so he’s on light duties but he’s a really good runner with quite good skills. I’m looking forward to seeing him get out there.”
Friday’s game at Optus Stadium will closed to fans and streamed on Kayo, while supporters will be permitted to attend the AAMI Community Series clash between Fremantle and West Coast on 6 March at Fremantle Oval, with tickets going on sale soon.
FREMANTLE’S PRE-SEASON GAMES
West Coast v Fremantle
Friday 25 February
Closed to public
AAMI COMMUNITY SERIES
Fremantle v West Coast
Sunday 6 March
Open to public