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Fremantle have secured Next Generation Academy product Jason Carter to their playing list, with the 18-year-old signing as a category B rookie on Friday.
Hailing from Wyndham in the Kimberley, Carter is the first footballer from his hometown to be selected on an AFL list.
The running defender/winger joined Fremantle’s NGA in 2016 following an impressive NAB AFL U16 Championships, where he was named All Australian.
Injuries interrupted Carter’s 2017 season but he went on to be selected to represent WA at the NAB AFL U18 Championships in 2018.
At the WA state combine, Carter recorded a 2.87 second 20m time, which was faster than any time recorded at the national combine.
NGA coach Tendai Mzungu said Carter’s signing was a great result for the player and the club.
“It’s really exciting for Jason and his family,” Mzungu said.
“He’s really developed and matured as a person and it’s really pleasing to see him become our first NGA Fremantle-listed player.
“He’s a very fast player who competes really strongly around the ball. We’ll look to see him run and carry and, hopefully, he’ll get that chance to line up for Freo.”
As a product of the NGA, Mzungu said Carter has already experienced training and working in an AFL environment.
“Obviously, the hard work starts for him now,” Mzungu said.
“The academy gives the players up to three years – depending on how long they’ve been in the system – to get an understanding about what the AFL system is like and the expectations involved.
“For Jason, particularly this year, being able to come in once a week - he’s been able to speak to the players and see them train and how they go about it.
“I think it’s going to hold him in good stead so when he comes in, he should be prepared and able to train at a really high level.”
Mzungu said Carter, who is doing a Certificate III in Horticulture apprenticeship with Aaron Sandilands’ landscaping business, has already shown significant growth on and off the field in his time with the NGA.
“I’m really proud of Jason, we’ve seen a really strong shift in him over the year,” Mzungu said.
“It’s in his maturity and drive that he’s shown. We know that he really wants this and he’s giving himself a really good chance to go on and have an AFL career.
“He’s the first AFL-listed player drafted out of Wyndham, I’m sure the community and his family will be really proud.”