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Fremantle have made quick progress to sign-on the bulk of their 2019 AFL squad with 18 players already committing to the club by day three of the AFLW sign and trade period.
On top of Wednesday morning’s re-signing announcement of the full leadership group in Kara Donnellan, Kiara Bowers, Ebony Antonio, Gabby O’Sullivan and Evie Gooch, Freo have added a further 13 players to their list with more than a week to go in the signing period.
Four of Fremantle’s top-five in their AFLW Fairest and Best count have already re-signed, with Gemma Houghton and Stephanie Cain joining winner 2019 Kiara Bowers and 2018 winner Ebony Antonio.
Star midfielder Hayley Miller has also committed to Fremantle as well as gun small forwards Ashley Sharp and rising star nominee Sabreena Duffy.
Fremantle is also covered well in defence with the likes of Tayla Bresland, Alex Williams and Ange Stannett joining Gooch down back.
Freo has excellent midfield coverage for the future with talented young midfielder Matilda Sergeant signing on along with tough midfielder Katie-Jayne Grieve.
They are joined by the versatile Philipa Seth, who won Fremantle’s best first year player award and finished sixth in the Fairest and Best.
Fremantle have also added versatility around the ground with the re-signings of Laura Pugh and Leah Mascall.
AFLW manager Darryn Fry said the club was very pleased with the commitment of the players and still has their eye on growing their list this signing period.
“It’s a fantastic result so far. We’ve seen from the leaders announcing their re-signing this morning, to have another 13 players commit at this early stage, it’s a really strong sign for the club,” Fry said.
“It’s great for our playing group, wanting to stick together and give ourselves the best chance of success going forward.”
“At this stage, from our perspective, there are only around three or four spots to fill, which we are really excited about securing.
“That said, the 18 that we’ve signed so far, we’ve been really pleased with.
“We’ve still got another week and a half to work through that and we respect that there are some decisions that need to be made with some players.”
Fry said that making the finals in 2019 made it an easier decision for the players to re-sign and it reflected the positive environment at the club.
“There’s no doubt that our improvement on and off the field in our AFLW program in 2019 has had a massive impact with all of these signings,” Fry said.
“As we read this this morning, our leadership group really took significant steps forward this year, led by our skipper Kara Donnellan.
“They’re really committed to the cause, they’ve always said that they’re in for the long haul and they enjoy the environment at the club.
“They want to see success at this club and we’re just delighted that they’ve been able to sign on and show that commitment to the rest of the group, then to see the response from the others over the past two days has been huge for where we want to go as a group and club.”