Fremantle’s five-year-plus players officially returned to pre-season training on Monday morning, but the show was stolen by a number of new faces in purple and a special guest as the boys were put through their paces.

Jeremy Sharp made his first training appearance on the same morning he was announced as a pre-season supplemental selection and wasted no time, dominating the time trials.

Oscar McDonald also made his first official appearance as a Fremantle Docker after signing as a delisted free-agent, while a whole crop of fresh draftees got themselves in and around the group.

Fremantle also welcomed a special guest to training, with Olympic middle-distance runner Peter Bol making an appearance to pace a group of the boys in their time trials.

Here are our three biggest takeaways from Fremantle’s Monday morning training session:

1. Sharp lights up the track on day one as O-Mac makes first appearance
Officially signed as a pre-season supplemental selection on Monday morning, Jeremy Sharp wasted no time impressing his new teammates and coaches by taking out all three-time trials on his first day.

Sharp, who was originally drafted at pick 27 in the 2019 draft following back-to-back Under 18 All-Australian selections, was delisted by Gold Coast at the end of last season allowing him to make his desired move west in the pre-season supplemental selection period.

Originally from Perth, Sharp grew up as a member of an East Fremantle Colts side which featured teammate Luke Jackson and Melbourne’s Trent Rivers, as well as former AFL-listed players Trey Ruscoe and Brynn Teakle.

Arriving with the reputation of a running machine he made an immediate impression, being thrown into the time trials on Monday morning alongside a mix of returning five-plus year players and first-to-four year players yet to run.

Running alongside guest pace-setter Peter Bol, Sharp blitzed the field from the outset and would take out all three trials by a considerable distance ahead of Heath Chapman.

Sharp was also notably vocal following the final trial to offer support and bring home Josh Corbett, a former teammate of his at the Suns.

Also making his first appearance at Fremantle training was former Melbourne and Carlton defender Oscar McDonald, who was signed as a delisted free agent earlier in November.

McDonald, who played 81 games as a Demon and five at Carlton, spent the 2023 season playing for Williamstown in the VFL, where he impressed at full-back and was named in the VFL team of the year.

The 27-year old made an easy transition into some ball movement drills and warmed-up by getting to know some of the Club’s young defenders in Hugh Davies, Josh Draper and Karl Worner.  

Slotting into a ball movement drill for the first-to-four year players, who completed their time trials last week, McDonald made a number of strong cut-offs in the play.

Working with Draper and Davies under the direction of Matthew Boyd, McDonald made a number of strong intercepts to halt the play – including a strong grab from a Hayden Young entry.

2. New draft crop ease into their work 
Fremantle’s three draftees in Cooper Simpson, Ollie Murphy and Jack Delean, as well as rookie draftee and local boy Odin Jones, all made their first official training appearances on Monday morning.

Jones, a 199cm ruck/forward from West Perth, and Delean, a 181cm small forward from South Australia, were able to spend some time with Luke Jackson in the morning before warming up into some groundball and agility drills.

Murphy, a key defender from Victoria, also got to know some of his teammates from his end of the ground. He warmed up in a similar drill with fellow backmen Worner, Davies and Draper before Oscar McDonald joined in too.

As the first-to-four years moved into a ball movement drill, it was Delean who found the most of the footy.

Setting up out-wide in the drill, Delean provided a constant option for the ball to move through and began a few chains of play from switching.  

Cooper Simpson, the Club’s top pick in this years draft at pick 35, managed to work into the drill in the same way. Positioning himself out on the outside, Simpson looked very assured in his ball use and showed a lot of maturity to link up the play.

While McDonald held up the backs on his team, it was Ollie Murphy bringing the pressure for the other, and kept a tight hold of his opponents. His best moment was easily cutting off a ball through the midfield before composing himself to lace out Luke Jackson, a play which eventually resulted in a Max Knobel goal.

3. Peter Bol brings the heat as five-year players make the comeback 
Fremantle welcomed a very special guest to set the pace in Monday’s trials, with the Australian Olympic middle-distance runner joining training. 

Perth-raised Bol, a Fremantle fan, captured the attention of the country when he ran fourth in the final of the 800m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and has become a household name since. 

Bol set the pace for the time trial group which featured the likes of Jeremy Sharp, Alex Pearce, Caleb Serong, Heath Chapman, Bailey Banfield and Ethan Hughes among others. 

Although Sharp stole all the plaudits, taking out all three trials with relative comfort alongside Bol, Heath Chapman was equally as impressive and managed to snatch second-place in each run. 

Chapman, coming off an injury-interrupted 2023 season, is another contender to occupy the vacancy on the wing heading into 2024 along with Sharp. 

Experienced half-back Corey Wagner also showed off his tank and put in a strong shift to finish just behind Chapman and record a top-four finish on each occasion. 

Aside from Josh Corbett, who is scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow, the other notable top-four finisher was captain Alex Pearce in the final trial, who despite falling off at the backend maintained a strong pace and dropped from second to finish fourth. 

As expected however, Peter Bol was a clear-standout in Monday’s time trials and has left the boys with a bit of work to do ahead of the next time around.  


Time Trial 1 Top Four:
1.     Jeremy Sharp
2.     Heath Chapman
3.     Josh Corbett
4.     Corey Wagner

Time Trial 2 Top Four:
1.     Jeremy Sharp
2.     Heath Chapman
3.     Josh Corbett
4.     Corey Wagner

Time Trial 3 Top Four:
1.     Jeremy Sharp
2.     Heath Chapman
3.     Corey Wagner
4.     Alex Pearce