- Opposition: Star Swan remains sidelined for Freo clash
- Freo building a fortress: Matera
- Gallery: Freo v Saints
Fremantle utility Mitch Crowden has committed to the club for the long term with a two-year contract extension on top of his original two-year deal.
The agreement will see the 19-year-old at the club until at least the end of the 2021 season.
Taken with pick no.59 at the 2017 NAB AFL National Draft, Crowden made his debut in round two and has retained his place since then – playing seven games so far at AFL level.
Drafted as a midfielder/forward, Crowden has impressed with his ability to pressure the opposition and has laid the second-most tackles at Fremantle since his debut.
Crowden said the contract extension only adds to what has been a happy time in WA.
“I’m pretty excited to be honest,” Crowden said.
“When I came to the club I wasn’t expecting to get anything like this this early. I’m stoked to get it and to spend another two years at the Dockers.
“It was a pretty easy decision. I had a chat to dad and some family members and we felt the correct decision was just to get it done as soon as possible to start building my career."
Crowden and fellow draftee Stefan Giro are among six South Australians at Fremantle alongside Brennan Cox, Cam Sutcliffe, Lachie Neale and Danyle Pearce, with the group coming together to welcome the new players.
“We had a nice bonding session and shared stories about South Australia. It was all good fun,” Crowden said.
“I lived with Cam Sutcliffe for a few months when I first came over here.
“He was exceptional in the way he looked after me and showed me the ropes first up. I also lived with Connor Blakely and he’s a great role model as well who I look up to.”
Crowden added that there are strong bonds building within his draft intake.
“I’m settling in really well,” Crowden said.
“The club’s been super supportive and I think having 10 players getting drafted this year has really helped us.
“I’ve made some really good friends and connections. Just hanging out with these guys, it’s really helped the transition and I think it’s going to hold us in good stead going forward.”
Crowden admitted he has a lot of room for growth at Fremantle, which only adds to his potential as well as that of the club.
“Just the pace of the game and the structure required to play AFL is probably the biggest step up,” Crowden said.
“I’m still learning and I’ve got a lot to improve on but I think that’s positive for our team.
“We’ve got so much growth left in us in the coming years. All I see is improvement.”
According to Crowden, one of the best aspects of playing with Fremantle is the support from the fans on gameday.
“Playing at Optus Stadium is massive and getting a four wins there early has been huge for the playing group,” Crowden said.
“I think the crowd has been unbelievable. It’s really drives the players.”