Three teenagers have joined the Freo family after list boss David Walls and his recruiting team pounced on pace, size and goalkicking smarts at the AFL National Draft.
Heading into the second round of the Draft with picks 38, 41, 67 and 85, Fremantle traded their way up to Richmond’s selection 35 to secure Dandenong Stingrays co-captain Cooper Simpson.
The versatile midfielder had been a predicted top 20 pick.
“We are happy. We wanted to target talent in the front half so Cooper fits that bill,” said Head of Player Personnel David Walls.
“He’s an exciting player who can go through the midfield and he’s also a very good forward who kicks with both feet - (he has) really quick feet.
“He was a Dandenong Stingrays best and fairest in his bottom age year, he just had a couple of injury interruptions but he’s coming off a really strong season and it’s great to have him at the Club.”
Pick 41 Ollie Murphy, a tall defender from the Sandringham Dragons, was also rated a bargain buy after claiming Victoria Metro’s MVP at the U18 National Championships.
“Normally when that happens – particularly with a 200cm key position player – you end up going in the first round. If the Draft had of been straight after the Championships he would have gone a lot higher,” Walls said.
“He reminds me of Alex Pearce in his Draft year. We look at him and he’s almost identical size, dimensions and running profile as Alex as an 18 year old.”
South Adelaide teenager Jack Delean rounded out the night after being selected with pick 60.
“He’s a real goal kicker – he kicked 54 goals this year,” said Walls.
“He can take a really good overhead mark and he’s very mercurial. He kicks goals in different ways so we’re excited about bringing him in.”
Fremantle didn’t use the Club’s final pick in the National Draft, but will add another player with a selection in Wednesday’s Rookie Draft.