Fremantle have made their first big signings of the AFLW sign and trade period with gun midfielder Hayley Miller and young stars Roxanne Roux and Mim Strom inking two-year deals.
The signing of Miller until 2022 means Fremantle have locked in their entire leadership group from their unbeaten 2020 season, with captain Kara Antonio, reigning fairest and best winner Kiara Bowers, Ebony Antonio and Gabby O’Sullivan already committed for next year.
The players join Gemma Houghton, Stephanie Cain, Philipa Seth, Ange Stannett, Ashley Sharp, Sabreena Duffy, Tayla Bresland and Matilda Sergeant who are already contracted for the 2021 AFLW season.
Senior coach Trent Cooper said Miller, Roux and Strom were clear priorities for Fremantle.
“It’s been a great start to our sign and trade period with Hayley Miller, Roxy Roux and Mim Strom all committing to the club,” Cooper said.
“Hayley Miller shores up our whole leadership group and ensures they’re all together again in 2021. She is the youngest of that group and has her best football in front of her.
“She showed this year, with her third placing in the fairest and best, how important she is for us. As a developing leader, she’s someone who we want with our program for as long as possible.”
Roux and Strom were Fremantle’s top two selections from the 2019 draft and the pair played beyond their years in their first season.
Due to Aine Tighe’s ACL injury in the pre-season, Fremantle relied on Strom as their primary ruck and Roux as a medium-sized forward who utilised her incredible leap to support Strom as a back up.
Roux was nominated for the NAB AFL Women’s Rising Star award and was named in the AFLW’s 22under22 team.
Strom was awarded Fremantle’s best first year player in 2020 and ranked fourth for hitouts and third for possessions out of any ruck in the AFLW in 2020.
“We already saw what Roxy and Mim could do last year and how valuable they were in the roles they played,” Cooper said.
“In the next couple years we see them as important contributors in the roles they play as they develop into two of our absolute stars of the future.
“We’re really pleased to sign them, not just for their talent, but for what they bring to the whole group with their character as well. We’re very pleased to have both on board for two years.”
Miller said she felt the whole group was motivated to build on their unbeaten season in 2020.
“It’s been pretty set in my mind since the 2020 season finished early that we’ve got a lot of unfinished business,” Miller said.
“I’m hoping that we can keep most of the team together so we can build from what we achieved this year.
“To keep our main core of players and leadership group is a big step in the right direction for the club and for the group in general.
“We’ve got a lot of new girls that came through last year that will only get better as they feed off those who have been around for a couple years now.
“It’s really positive that our leadership group wants to stay and that follows on to everyone else in the team as well."