Fremantle defender Luke Ryan believes a handful of his teammates are working hard to put up their hand and cement themselves in Freo’s backline.

With key defender Joel Hamling set to miss the start of the 2020 season after injuring his left ankle at training on Monday, it could bring an opportunity for a new face in Freo’s best 22.

With Alex Pearce also towards the backend of his recovery from an ankle injury, Ryan said the door is open for his fellow teammates.

“There’s a few there – obviously Joel is a massive loss as well as Alex,” Ryan said.

“We’ve got Griffin Logue, Brennan Cox, Tobe Watson and Ethan Hughes as well as a few young guys we can use down there.

“Hayden Young has been training really well, so there is a lot there we can pick from.”

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Off the Track: Luke Ryan

Luke Ryan spoke about the players willing to step up to the challenge of taking on the key defender role.

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Ryan said Cox has joined the backline group throughout the entire pre-season, after playing primarily as a forward over the past few seasons. 

“He’s trained the whole pre-season in the backline,” Ryan said.

“We’re getting that chemistry going so I’m looking forward to seeing him in there. 

“He’s training really well and so is Griffin - they’ve got big shoes to fill but I’m pretty sure they can do it.”

Watson and Taylin Duman have also caught the eye of Ryan this pre-season, with Duman returning to the track on Wednesday after the arrival of his first child over the weekend.

“Everyone’s looking really fit at this time of year,” Ryan said.

“Tay has got really good skills and has been training really well. 

“He had his first session back after having his kid and he is looking really fit and really strong so expect a big year from him. 

“Tobe has also taken his game to another level, so look for him this year too.”