Fremantle will unveil exciting forward talent Liam Henry in Sir Doug Nicholls Round against Sydney on Saturday night at Optus Stadium.
The 18-year-old was told the news on Thursday by Fremantle legend Antoni Grover, was Fremantle's first Indigenous player to reach 200 games and designed Freo’s 2020 Indigenous jumper alongside his sisters Nicole and Alicia.
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Henry’s debut announcement was a part of Grover’s address to the playing group from a balcony above Fremantle’s training facilities at Cockburn, as he discussed the meaning of the jumper design to the playing group.
A central theme of the jumper is the club’s ‘new beginning’ under senior coach Justin Longmuir, and the debut of Henry only adds another dimension to that theme.
“We’re really proud of the design, the fact that you guys are wearing it now gives me chills,” Grover said.
“This football club means the world to me. It’s helped me develop as a person. There’s no doubt that each time you run out, you should wear the jumper with pride.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce, I’ve had a call from (football manager) Joe Brierty who has confirmed that this Saturday night a young boy is going to pull the jumper on for the first time and pull on the Indigenous jumper for his first game and that goes to Liam Henry.
“Liam, all the best, I can’t wait to see you run out there with the jumper and see you and doing us proud.”
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Henry has experience designing clothing through his Indigenous tie business ‘Tied to Culture’ and said it was an honour to wear the Grover-designed jumper.
“It’s heart-warming to find out (about debuting) from a past player and a past legend,” Henry said.
“It’s a very special jumper. I think the meaning around it is very powerful and I’d like to thank Antoni for the design.
“I’ve had some experience with design and the meaning behind it is special.”
Henry was drafted with pick no.9 in the 2019 NAB National Draft as a Next Generation Academy product.
He signed a two-year contract extension in March and was thrilled to be at Fremantle.
“I re-signed with the club back in March. Having that stability is pretty good, to know that I’m here for another two years and that I can build on what I’ve been doing this year and keep getting better and a player and as a person,” Henry said.
“It’s definitely a good environment around the club at the moment. Justin Longmuir is bringing that really caring and loving environment that the boys can just be themselves. It’s very good just to sign for another two years and I just can’t wait for the journey.”
He will become the sixth Freo Docker to make their debut this season alongside fellow top-10 picks Caleb Serong and Hayden Young, as well as Michael Frederick, Sam Sturt and Tobe Watson.
Henry couldn’t wait to take in the atmosphere of an AFL game at Optus Stadium.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet but I’m excited,” Henry said.
“Obviously I get to run out with the boys for the first time and definitely it’s a special round for Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
“Playing in front of a crowd is going to be different too, but I’m excited.”