Senior coach Trent Cooper has given a heartfelt thank you to Mia-Rae Clifford, Sarah Garstone and Lindal Rohde after Fremantle announced the trio would not be offered contracts for 2021.

All three played a part in Fremantle’s undefeated 2020 season with Rohde playing five games, Clifford playing three games and Garstone playing one.

Cooper said the list changes were made as a result of Fremantle’s successful sign and trade period, where they were able to re-sign their 2020 list.

“We had the difficult decision to make with list management, as we could only go in with 27 players so we could have spaces available for the draft’ Cooper said.

“It meant we had some difficult decisions that had to be made and, unfortunately, we will be delisting Mia-Rae, Sarah and Lindal.

“It’s just a part of the difficult decision making process that we had to go through, so we thank all three for their service because they were all a big part of our undefeated 2020 campaign.”

Cooper said Clifford’s experience and leadership was vital at training and in games.

“Mia-Rae made the backline better in the pre-season with her voice and she really gave that group confidence,” Cooper said.

“She was also recruited for her versatility to play forward and back and we saw that where she played forward for two games and kicked three goals.”

“We’re really thankful for her service over that year. She made a lot of people better and we hope that she can find a spot on an AFLW list closer to home in Victoria.”

A defender from Claremont, Fremantle drafted Garstone with pick no.66 in the 2019 NAB AFLW draft.

Garstone went on to make her debut in Freo’s thrilling win against the Western Bulldogs in round six.

Cooper said the decision was made out of a need to balance Freo’s list.

“Sarah is a young defender who trained really hard to get her opportunity against the Western Bulldogs and she played really well that day,” Cooper said.

“She’s just a victim of us having a lot of similar players, as well as the return of Alex Williams from her ACL injury.

“Sarah’s work-rate, as well as her character and humour, as evidenced in the Hayley and Sez podcast - she was a really valuable member for us throughout our 2020 campaign.”

Cooper said that Rohde was also forced out due to Freo’s depth on the wing.

“Lindal came on as a rookie across from netball, she played five games this year on the wing and showed that she’s definitely capable of playing AFLW football,” Cooper said.

“Unfortunately, with our list management, we’ll have Steph Cain available next year after her ACL injury and Ebony Antonio has also moved to the wing as well, it just means that we had to make that tough call on Lindal.

“She’s a fantastic person, she sets a great example to the young players with what she does off the field and she definitely is a loss for the club.”