The Fremantle Dockers advise that Harley Bennell will not be at the club in 2020 after arrangements were finalised for the injury-plagued, former no. 2 draft pick to be released from his contract.

“The club, Harley and his management have mutually agreed on a deed of settlement to release Harley from his AFL playing contract for 2019,” general manager of football Peter Bell said.

“It’s been an incredibly frustrating and disappointing period for Harley and the club trying to get his body right to play.

“Harley’s resilience and determination to overcome numerous set-backs has been amazing and a pointer to why he has indicated to the club that he wants to seek an opportunity elsewhere to play at the elite level.

“We believe we have done everything we possibly could as a club to support Harley during his time at Fremantle and we will continue to support Harley post his departure from the club, as we would with any former player.

“On behalf of everyone at Fremantle, we wish Harley and his family all the very best for the future and he will always be welcome here at the club.”

Bennell believes he still has the potential to play the game at the elite level.

“I’m not retiring at this stage,” Bennell said.

“I’m going to work really hard on rehabbing my calf injury with a view to giving myself the chance to have another crack at playing for an AFL club.

“I firmly believe that I am capable of getting back out there and playing at the highest level.”

Bennell also acknowledged the support he had received from Fremantle since joining the club from the Gold Coast via the 2015 trade period.                                                                                                                            

“The support I have received from the club since day one and with everything I’ve been through has been outstanding,” Bennell.

“I wish all the players, coaches, support staff and everyone else at the club the best for the rest of the 2019 season and beyond.”