Hayden Young believes the desire for Fremantle to be playing football at the pointy end of the season is helping drive the group off the field to ensure availability on it.

With Covid hitting its peak in WA, Fremantle currently have just the one player in the AFL’s health and safety protocols, Lachie Schultz.

Asked in a media conference on Friday on whether he felt the players were experiencing ‘Covid-fatigue’, Young felt the experience in the west over the past two years had differed to clubs on the eastern seaboard.

“I feel like we have been a little bit different to most of the competition over the past two years where Covid has sort of just arrived in Perth,” Young said.

“In terms of that Covid-fatigue you might be talking about, it’s something that we haven’t probably had to deal with as much as the eastern states clubs…the last two years we have actually been able to move throughout the community and live a pretty normal life

“We have been certainly talking about these things and the protocols and how they can be frustrating at times.

“However, we have a greater purpose in mind and that’s playing football in September.

“That drives us to follow the protocols and do whatever we can to keep people out on the park.”

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Young also praised the way that midfield leader Andy Brayshaw had pushed through the extra attention he has received so far on the field this year.

GWS’ Lachie Ash was tasked with a run-with role on Brayshaw last week, while West Coast’s Jackson Nelson paid close attention to the damaging midfielder in the first half of the RAC Derby in round three.

Despite the tag, Brayshaw is leading the AFL for midfielders involved in the percentage of their team’s scores at 37.6 per cent, ahead of Essendon’s Darcy Parish (36.7%), Collingwood’s Jordan De Goey (35.9%), GWS’ Stephen Coniglio (34.5%) and Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli (34.3%).

Young said a conscious effort had been made amongst the playing group to help Brayshaw out, who has also adopted a more selfless role this season.

“It’s something that we have spoken about heading into games and is something we are all aware of,” Young said.

“If we see it on ground, we want to try and help him out where possible and help him try and lose that tag.

“He has done really well over the last couple of weeks to still have a lot of impact on the game and one thing that has been really noticeable, is that he is playing a really selfless role for the team.

“He is trying to take other players out of the game so that or mids can have space and time to get their hands on the ball.

“His performances over the past few weeks have been unreal.”

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