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AFLW: Freo talent academy unites players 

Ashley Sharp shares an insight into the club's inaugural Talent Academy program Ashley chats about the talent academy at the last training session

Fremantle player Ashley Sharp says the inaugural Fremantle Dockers Women’s Talent Academy has been successful in bringing together current and future stars of AFLW.

The 10-week program, led by senior AFLW coach Trent Cooper and his coaching team, saw the 20 currently signed Fremantle players train alongside 23 unsigned players.

Sharp said it had been a great opportunity to expose the unsigned players to the Fremantle facilities and coaches ahead of the 2018 AFLW draft.

“It’s our first 10 week program in the off season and it’s been really good to see all the new girls that are going to nominate for the draft next month and to showcase their skills in front of the Fremantle coaching staff, and in front of our normal players as well,” Sharp said.

“They got to see what the facilities are like so when they get here in November they’re not so shocked about it and they’ve used it all before, so they come down and they fit in straight away.”

Sharp says the program also provided an opportunity for the current players to bond with some of their future teammates.

“It’s been good to catch-up before we go into preseason so we don’t have to get here and meet everyone, we can actually meet everyone previously and we’re bonded together as a family already so it feels good,” Sharp said.

This is the first year that the women have had a training program during the off-season, giving them more time to improve their skills and fitness for the upcoming 2019 season. 

“It’s really good to get down, get fit before preseason so we come into preseason fit and ready to go,” Sharp said.

Sharp was a standout during her debut season last year, earning a Rising Star nomination in round three.

As she enters into her third year with the club, Sharp says she is continuously looking to improve in all areas of the game.

“I’d love to improve every year, there’s always room for improvement – kicking, handballing, fitness as well is a very important thing, so that’s something I’m looking forward to this year,” Sharp said.