Contracted until the end of the 2027 season, Hayden Young is Fremantle’s most committed player on the list for the long term, and the 21-year-old is hopeful that his fellow interstate teammates will follow suit.
While Young is a proud Victorian, he feels a strong connection with his new home in WA, currently looking for a house near the port city with his partner Rali.
“I’ve really fallen love with Fremantle as a city, I love walking down the street and people say good luck for the game. There’s a sense of belonging down at Fremantle,” Young said.
“It’s a credit to the fans for the support I’ve felt over the last three years. I love playing at Optus Stadium, even though I’m a Melbourne boy, Optus is one of my favourite grounds to play at, just because the crowd brings so much energy.”
Alongside Andrew Brayshaw who is committed until the end of the 2025 season, Young is eager to see Fremantle’s current list play together for many years to come.
He said that no matter where his teammates hail from, there is a passion for Fremantle and a genuine desire for the Club to succeed.
“There’s been a few blokes before me who have led the way, Andy Brayshaw is a proud Victorian that also loves the Dockers,” Young said.
“It’s good to see the club are retaining these interstate players, it’s a credit to the work they do with their welfare, Player Development Manager Mark Anderson, does a great job, looking after interstate players.
“I’m proud to be a Victorian and I hope that the Dockers can keep drafting Victorians as I love getting the Vic boys over here and looking after them.”
While Young and Rali have come from interstate, they already have a local member in their family – their dog.
“My partner moved over during the Covid years, which was great for me. Although we didn’t get to go home a lot, it was good to have a close support network with me,” Young said.
“I’ve got a dog, she’s a Perth dog, she loves it over here. She hasn’t been to Melbourne yet but my parents have fallen in love with her. We’re pretty settled down and hopefully we can buy a house soon, that will be very exciting.”
Young arrived at Fremantle just ahead of one of the toughest periods for interstate players, with the Covid pandemic arriving in his debut season and limiting his ability to see family and friends.
He said this adversity has helped him grow his independence and thrive interstate.
“One of the reasons I felt so comfortable to sign an extended deal was because I’ve been away from home for two and a half years, and with Covid, I haven’t had a lot of family contact,” Young said.
“The Footy Club, my host family, the broader Freo community and all my teammates have really made me feel at home, made me feel comfortable and I’m not worried or scared about spending the next six years in Freo, it’s home for me now and I’m loving it here.”