Fremantle will unveil a second debutant in consecutive weeks when midfielder Neil Erasmus runs out for Freo against the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The 18-year-old was drafted by Fremantle in the first round of the 2021 NAB AFL National draft at pick no.10.
Erasmus played just the four games for Subiaco at Colts level in 2021 due to school football commitments and a quad injury at the end of the year, but dominated in terms of possessions when he played.
He averaged 164 ranking points, which made him the no.2 ranked player in the competition and the no.1 rated midfielder.
Erasmus has progressed rapidly since joining Fremantle, impressing at training over the pre-season and being chosen as a travelling emergency in round one.
Erasmus was told the news by senior coach Justin Longmuir over the phone on Thursday afternoon.
Unfortunately, Longmuir has recently been placed under the AFL’s health and safety protocols after being deemed a close contact to a COVID-19 positive case not directly connected to the Club.
While Longmuir was disappointed to have to tell Erasmus over the phone, he was full of praise for the youngster.
“It’s not really the way I wanted to do this, but I need to let you know you are going to make your debut this week,” Longmuir said over the phone.
“You have just kept on banging the door down, like I have said to you many times, I just love your toughness and competitiveness and your work rate.
“The thing that has really impressed me over the last three to four weeks is that drive to constantly improve.
“You really deserve this opportunity, you have earnt it and I’m really excited for you.”
Erasmus was excited and relieved to be given the chance to play in the RAC Derby on Sunday in front of a WA crowd.
“It is exciting, I wouldn’t have imagined playing the biggest game over here in WA,” Erasmus said.
“It is going to be two strong teams put out on the park and it is always a great rivalry, so I can’t wait for that to be my first game in front of a big crowd this week with less restrictions.”
Final teams for both clubs will be released publicly at 2.30pm WST on Saturday, 2 April.