Fremantle defender Hayden Young believes a successful pre-season has left him feeling ‘confident and strong’ as he aims for continued growth in 2022.
Taken at pick no.7 by Fremantle in the 2019 National Draft, Young managed five games in his debut season followed by eight games last year.
The 20-year-old had 17 disposals against West Coast at the weekend, operating at a disposal efficiency of 88.2 per cent.
“I think I’ve had a pretty solid pre-season; I was able to play all the match simulation,” Young told SEN’s The Run Home.
“I’ve put on a few kilos, and I’m running well and feeling stronger…so we’ll see how the season pans out.”
SEN host Paul Hasleby asked whether Young had spent some time training through the midfield over the summer, alongside his usual status as a defender.
Young said while training primarily as a defender over the pre-season, he had also put work into ensuring his versatility across positions.
“I’m still looking to find some continuity in my position (in the backline) and sort of nail that position down,” Young said.
“I’ve still been sort of working on a bit of craft here and there to have that flexibility in case I’m required to move positions in the future.
“I’ve still been working on it, but my sole focus is playing in the backline off half-back.”
Young also credited the recent acquisition of forwards coach Jaymie Graham for being a large driver of Freo’s improved connection entering their forward 50 arc.
Fremantle won the marks inside 50 count 21-7 against West Coast in their AAMI Community Series clash and said it had been a major focus over the past few months.
“Jaymie Graham has come to the Club over the break and has been working closely with our forwards, mids and backs on our mid-forward connection, as well as increasing those marks inside 50,” Young said.
“We are pretty happy that we were able to do that over the weekend, because it’s been something we have been working a lot on.
“It’s good that we’re seeing it start to sort of pay off.”