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- Brayshaw and Banfield to debut
Andrew Brayshaw says he wasn’t inclined to believe the hype that comes with being a top-two draft pick and never took a round one spot for granted when he arrived at Fremantle.
But the young midfielder beat his own expectations and has earned his place in Freo’s starting 22 for round one against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
"I was hoping to get a senior game in my first year, I didn’t think it would come this quickly,” Brayshaw said.
“Once I got to the club and put my head down I started to think I could make my way into the team.
"I’m really happy with my efforts over the summer, but I didn't think it would come this quick, no."
Brayshaw said it was emotional telling his family and friends, and even arriving home where he lives with teammate Lachie Neale.
"He said he was really proud of me,” Brayshaw said.
“He reckons I feel like a bit like his son, so he was really proud like a father. He's really happy for me and can't wait to play with me.
"Having someone like Lach (as a housemate), you can talk about all facets of the game, tackles, touches or just influence. Obviously, he's an amazing player and if I can have a little bit of an impact that would be good. “
Brayshaw will debut alongside Bailey Banfield, who was bypassed in two national drafts and selected by Fremantle with pick no.5 in the 2017 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
Brayshaw said Banfield has illustrated that after the draft, it’s an even playing field at Fremantle.
"Ross has a big emphasis that once you get into the club your pick is pretty much out the door,” Brayshaw said.
“Bailey and I are just players, it doesn't matter where we went, but we've both shown we can play and we'll see how we go this weekend.
"Just walking out of the meeting yesterday we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces. It will be good flying over together, we'll probably be sitting next to each other and bouncing off each other, so it will be a good experience."