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It was a dream come true: Banfield

Bailey Banfield reflects on his first season at the club. Bailey Banfield reflects on his first season at the club

Fremantle rookie Bailey Banfield has exceeded expectations during his debut year, and his parents have been there to witness every moment first-hand.

Banfield’s parents, originally from Broome, have travelled around the country to support him at every game this season.

Banfield says chatting to his parents in the change rooms post game has become part of his routine.

“They’ve been to every game so far, they love following me around and getting to all the games and they’ve really enjoyed the season as well,” Banfield said. 

“They come down into the rooms and I have a chat with them after every game which has become part of the routine.” 

Having been picked up in the 2017 Rookie Draft, Banfield says he expected to play most of his season with Peel Thunder. 

But his standout performances in the JLT series saw him fast-tracked to senior level, making his AFL debut in round one against Port Adelaide.

“I knew I could play some good WAFL footy having played at Claremont and I was looking forward to getting stuck in at Peel,” Banfield said.

“I thought I would probably play the first chunk of the season at Peel but I was lucky enough to get into the JLT squad and scraped in some good performances there, which was able to get me in the team for round one which was a dream come true.”

Despite not getting the win that day, Banfield didn’t have to wait long to experience success with his new club.

Banfield shared his first win with fellow draftee Andrew Brayshaw in round two during Fremantle’s historic first game at Optus Stadium.

“We had the special jumper which we wore at training which was pretty cool and then to wear it on game day in front of 50-odd-thousand fans was a massive experience for me,” Banfield said.

“Having a couple of the other first years debuting in that game as well, it was awesome running out through the flames with the drums beating and the crowd going off, and then to get the win and sing the song at the end was awesome.

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