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New Fremantle draftee Sam Sturt is a talented footballer who can only get better at Freo, according to general manager of football Peter Bell.
Fremantle selected the forward with pick no.17 at Thursday night’s opening round of the NAB AFL National Draft.
After debuting for the Dandenong Stingrays in round 14 of the TAC Cup, Sturt led the league in score assists and tackles inside 50 and was also top five in the league for goals and score involvements in that period.
“We’re really excited to draft Sam, he’s a player with enormous upside,” Bell said.
“Athletically, he’s super quick and he’s got a really good jump on him.
“Since he came into the Dandenong Stingrays system, he’s impressed a lot of people and we’re thrilled to have him at Freo.”
Sturt impressed with his speed with the Dandenong Stingrays in 2018 and played a starring role in their grand final win, kicking two goals with 15 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s.
“He’s 189cm tall and he’s got exceptional speed,” Bell said.
“He can really jump as well and he’s also good with his second efforts back at the footy. We think he’s a really tough matchup with enormous athletic upside and we’re thrilled to bring him in.”
A talented cricketer, Sturt only recently fully committed to football and Bell is excited to see what the 18-year-old can achieve as a full-time football player.
“It’s a bit of a different story, cricket was his priority until recently,” Bell said.
“Sam was a very good batsman involved in the Victorian state system.
“When he came to football through Dandenong via the Peninsula Grammar School, he really started to make huge inroads into his footy and perform very well, including in the Grand Final game of the TAC Cup.”
When talking on the Fox Footy broadcast, Sturt said he couldn't wait to get started in WA.
"I’m really excited, I couldn’t be happier," Sturt said.
"I love Mum, she’s been a huge influence on me, but I’m really excited (to head to WA)"
Sturt added the it’s been a whirlwind 10 month period since making the commitment to football.
"It’s been an unreal experience,” Sturt said.
“In February I was just thinking about cricket and the under 19 Vic side so I didn’t expect any of this.
“The Dandenong Stingrays invited me down and I really enjoyed the intensity of it and the pace of the game.”