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Fremantle fans have a lot to be excited about for the future after the club added seven new players through the AFL draft period.
The draft haul was highlighted by top-10 picks Hayden Young, Caleb Serong and Liam Henry – it was only the second time in Fremantle’s history the club has selected three players in the top 10, after drafting Paul Hasleby, Matthew Pavlich and Leigh Brown in 1999.
Running midfielder Michael Frederick rounded out Freo’s National Draft at pick no.61, adding depth to the signings of Blake Acres and James Aish from the 2019 NAB AFL Trade Period.
Freo’s Next Generation Academy created history with three NGA players graduating to the club’s list during the draft period.
As well as Henry, Fremantle signed forward Isaiah Butters and defender Leno Thomas from Claremont as Category B Rookies.
In the Rookie Draft, Fremantle re-drafted Tom North and Hugh Dixon, and selected Peel Thunder defender Jarvis Pina.
Stefan Giro has been moved off the rookie list and elevated to the primary list.
Bell said he was thrilled with the draft haul.
“We brought in a lot of talent. First of all, it’s highly unusual to have three top-10 picks, so we’re very excited at the opportunity that presents,” Bell said.
“They’re a diverse bunch of players as well, Hayden Young is a really natural half-back flanker who potentially could play midfield in the future.
“He was widely regarded as one of the best kicks in this year’s draft. He’s a good size at 189cm and an excellent intercept mark.
“Caleb Serong, in time, will be an excellent inside mid. He has elite hands, he’s a great competitor, strong character and strong leadership capabilities.
“Most Fremantle fans will know a lot about Liam by now. He’s very good on both sides of his body and he finds space. He can weigh his kicks beautifully and he’s an outstanding character as well.”
Bell said Frederick boasts a huge upside.
He impressed in the SANFL U18 Grand Final where he collected 20 disposals and a goal.
“Michael has kicked plenty of goals through the year and he was best on ground in the grand final so he really stood up,” Bell said.
“Obviously kicking goals is a big part of his game but he’s good in the air as well. The most exciting thing is, I think there is huge scope for improvement as well.”
Bell said the addition of Butters and Thomas from Claremont was a credit to the club’s NGA.
“We’re really excited to be bringing in both Leno and Isaiah. That will bring the total number of players from our NGA program to four, alongside Liam Henry and Jason Carter” Bell said.
“NGA coach Tendai Mzungu has done an outstanding job and we think they’re ideal Category B players.
“Isaiah kicked four goals in the WAFL colts Grand Final, he’s an enormously talented athlete. He has a bit of work to do on his conditioning but there’s a fair bit of growth as well.
“He’s quite tall and we think he’ll get even taller. He has some wonderful athletic attributes.
“Leno can play forward and back, he had a game winning smother in the colts Grand Final for Claremont as well.
“He’s a good user of the football. He’s really tough, he wins his own ball, he’s a very clean player as well so we’re really thrilled to bring him in within our Cat B program.”
Bell said that the selection of Jarvis Pina from Peel Thunder perfectly rounded out Freo’s draft.
“Jarvis is a player we’ve watched pretty closely for the past 18 months or so down at Peel,” Bell said.
“He’s a half-back flanker who uses the ball well and is pretty clean too.
“He takes ground whenever he gets the footy, defends well and is a really good character.
“We’re thrilled to give him the opportunity.”