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Young mid's big ambition

Brayshaw talks JLT2 and Gaff Andrew Brayshaw talks to WA media a few days after the first JLT match against the Pies

Andrew Brayshaw says he can see opportunity knocking in Fremantle’s midfield, which is driving the 19-year-old to continue he development into a big-bodied on baller.

The midfielder plans to keep working on his strength and size and is hopeful this will help him deliver on the field for Freo in 2019.

“A big focus of mine has been my strength in the contest and my bodywork,” Brayshaw said.

“Since Lachie (Neale) has gone and Connor Blakely has been injured, there’s been that space that has opened up, so we’re definitely looking for players to step up into that strong inside role.

“I think I’ve tried my hardest to fill that gap and I’m going to keep trying to do that for the rest of the year.”

The early signs are promising for Brayshaw, racking up 25 disposals, four clearances and laying four tackles on Monday against a strong Collingwood midfield in Fremantle’s JLT Community Series opener.

Brayshaw hopes to back his performance up against West Coast.

“I think some people will view it as a really tough draw in the JLT Series but it’s a huge opportunity to play Collingwood and West Coast,” Brayshaw said.

“They both have midfields that are really strong and have a lot of veterans that are going to teach little things to players like me.

“It was a really good opportunity to play Collingwood and it’s the same thing this weekend, so we’re very fortunate to play those two teams.”

Brayshaw said hasn’t had any mental side effects on his return from a broken jaw, which was sustained during Fremantle’s previous clash with the Eagles.

He said a few accidental knocks this pre-season have highlighted how well his jaw has healed.

“I always wear a mouthguard so my teeth are pretty well protected,” Brayshaw said.

“As I said a few weeks ago, David Mundy accidentally gave me a clip in the jaw and I was fine. On the weekend, I knocked into Scott Pendlebury’s shoulder at one point and it was fine.

“If anything, it’s given me even more confidence, as my jaw feels really strong and wearing that mouthguard is keeping me happy.

“It’s not going to change how I go in and attack the footy and, hopefully, we saw that on the weekend.”

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