Fremantle’s newest NAB AFL Rising Star winner Caleb Serong has committed to a contract extension that will see the exciting midfielder at the club until at least the end of the 2023 season.
Serong, who also took out the AFL Players’ Association best first year player award, has signed a two-year extension on top of his initial two-year deal for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
He joins fellow top-10 pick Liam Henry as 2019 draftees who have signed contract extensions through to 2023.
The 19-year old said he was excited about his future at Fremantle, saying the club was on the cusp of something special.
“I just love the family feel around the club. Everyone is really close and it’s a really young group,” Serong said.
“We’re really close-knit and it’s really exciting what we’re building.
“It was a really easy decision for me, I was able to do it as soon as I could and I’m really excited to be locked in for a few more years.”
Serong will continue to grow as a part of a midfield that includes 20-year-olds Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw as well as 22-year-old ruck Sean Darcy.
“I think we’ve got a lot of confidence in what this group and do,” Serong said.
“In the back half of this year, we’ve really shown the excitement is there. Not just for this group but for the fans and everyone watching.
“I think all the boys are really excited about what we can do and achieve with who we have here at the moment, I can’t wait for the next few years.”
Fremantle’s head of player personnel David Walls was thrilled to see the no.8 draft pick extend.
“Caleb has bought in to the club, to Perth and to the Fremantle culture really well. He’s been outstanding,” Walls said
“It’s been great to see him win the Rising Star as well as the AFLPA’s best first year player, which is peer voted. It’s a huge honour for him.
“We first saw his dedication and commitment in the Covid shutdown, where he went away and used that time as well as anyone to improve his running, make gains and come back fitter and better than before.
“He’s accepted every challenge that’s been thrown at him by (senior coach) Justin Longmuir and (assistant coach) Josh Carr, taking on some of the game’s best players and going head-to-head with them and handling that challenge really well.”
Fremantle have gradually built a midfield for the future around Serong, as well as Brayshaw, Cerra and Darcy who were named in the AFLPA’s 22under22 team based on a fan vote.
“We’re seeing Sean Darcy develop as a young ruck and we have Andy Brayshaw and Adam Cerra who can be a real lethal combination for a long time,” Walls said.
“They all compliment each other really well and it’s great for those guys, they’ve had David Mundy and Nat Fyfe to learn from, they’re the experienced heads so we have a great mix in that midfield.”