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Banfield set for another crucial role

David Hale addressed the media prior to Saturday's match. David Hale chats to media ahead of the Round 4 clash against the Giants.

Rookie draftee Bailey Banfield is set to be given the task of limiting one of the Giants’ star midfielders when Fremantle plays GWS on Saturday at UNSW Canberra Oval.

The 20-year-old has played a tagging role successfully in the past two weeks, limiting the impact of Essendon’s Zach Merrett and Gold Coast Sun Aaron Hall in rounds two and three.

Assistant coach David Hale confirmed Banfield is likely to tag again against GWS.

“He’s been very effective as a tagger but we haven’t finally nutted out who he will likely go to,” Hale said.

“He did a really good role on Hall last week and Merrett the week before and he’s enjoying that challenge playing against the really good players. 

“When you’ve got a list with the depth that GWS have, there’s a few (Banfield could tag). 


“We can’t tag them all, there’s obviously (Josh) Kelly and (Dylan) Shiel and the guys they’ve got inside. Lachie Whitfield off half-back as well and Toby Greene coming in as well, so they’ve got quite a few you could try and target.”

While the Giants’ midfield is their strength, Hale believes Freo has the ability to match it.

“Obviously their midfield is very strong but we think it’s a strength of ours as well,” Hale said. 

“If we can win that battle, obviously with Aaron in the ruck as well, if we can get to down the mids and get it going forward.

“Our forward line pressure’s been really strong. If we can limit those outside runners in Kelly and Whitfield delivering it to those big forwards, we give ourselves a good chance.”

Hale said defender Alex Pearce could play on GWS star forwards Jonathon Patton or Jeremy Cameron.

“They’re both different players, Patton’s more of that stand and delivery forward whereas Cameron gets up the ground and plays some good footy,” Hale said.

“Alex will sit on one of them it just depends on who we want to limit the most.

“Alex has got a really good tank for his size.”

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