First-year forward Hugh Dixon has signed a one-year contract extension on top of his initial two-year deal, which will see him at the club until the end of the 2020 season.
Dixon had an interrupted start to the season due to injury but has managed to play consistent footy for Peel Thunder in the past month, as they prepare to make a tilt for finals.
The forward has kicked seven goals in his seven WAFL games, including a bag of three in his second game back from a hamstring injury.
But the 18-year-old says living with leadership group member and fellow Tasmanian, Alex Pearce has helped him with the frustration of being injured.
“Alex is a great role model to learn off,” Dixon said.
“Some of the stuff that he’s gone through throughout his football career and how resilient he’s been is absolutely outstanding.
“I had a lot of conversations with him while I was injured, more about where my headspace is at and that I was frustrated, and he could empathise with that.
“He was very helpful, I’ve got a lot of respect for Alex.”
Despite leaving family and friends and travelling from Tasmania to Perth to live his AFL dream, Dixon says senior coach Ross Lyon and his teammates have helped with the transition.
“Ross does go out of his way to talk to the first-year group,” he said.
“I’ve had a coffee with him away from football and a lot of the other boys have as well.
“He goes out of his way to make sure we all feel welcome.
“He asked us for feedback on what we think he can improve on, he’s constantly looking for feedback to make everyone better.”
“We also have a really close group, we all get along really well.
“Obviously, being such a big group having to move interstate, we have that in common and we’re there for each other.”
Seven out of the 10 first-year players have combined for 81 senior AFL games to date in 2018 and with another pre-season under their belt Dixon believes they will contribute to Freo’s success next year.
“The first-years are going to have a massive pre-season and next year we’ll come ready with a few bigger bodies, the boys will put on a bit of size and hopefully we get a few more wins on the board,” Dixon said.