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Crowden enjoys homecoming experience

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15: Mitchell Crowden of the Dockers is tackled by Tom Stewart of the Cats during the AFLX match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at Hindmarsh Stadium on February 15, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Mitch Crowden in action in AFLX.

Mitch Crowden has relished his first Fremantle appearance in the AFLX tournament at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.

In front of just over 10,000 fans, Crowden took everything in while playing in front of fans from his home state.

Playing in Fremantle’s opening game against Geelong, Crowden played in what was a very young AFLX side, including four other players who are yet to make their AFL debut in Stefan Giro, Bailey Banfield, Taylin Duman and Tom North.

In the end, it was a more experienced Geelong outfit who ran out 17-point winners.

“It felt like coming home even though we’re not at home anymore. It was really enjoyable,” Crowden said.

“It was really good, pretty exciting. All the boys, they were a bit nervous at first when we got out there, but as we eased into the game it turned into a bit of fun.”

Crowden paid tribute to fellow South Aussie draftee Giro, who kicked two goals and earned 13 disposals.

Taken in the 2017 Rookie Draft, the speedy 175cm midfielder shone and had Fremantle on the board within seconds.

“When he kicked that first goal the nerves went away a bit,” Crowden said.

“It suits him perfectly that game, he was best on ground I reckon.”

Despite playing in his home state, Crowden enjoyed being able to spend the trip bonding with his teammates and learning about the rigours of interstate travel.

“It was a great experience, what I’ve learnt is probably that it’s a bit different to (SA) state (team) trips,” Crowden said.

“We get a little bit more of our own responsibility and we’re also just seeing what the other boys do with their preparation and sleep and hydration. It’s all pretty important.”

All Fremantle players will be on a break until Tuesday, with Crowden happy to make the most out of his trip home.

“I’m probably going to go see the family and girlfriend and get back home,” Crowden said. 

“I’ve got a few cattle I’ve got to look after so I’ll go and see how they’re going.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs