Fremantle will have an almost full list at their disposal to start the pre-season, with Joel Hamling set to make an early start to pre-season and Alex Pearce on track to commence full training when the five-plus year players return in January, according to executive general manager of football Peter Bell.
Speaking at Fremantle’s Annual Members Meeting at the Esplanade Hotel on Tuesday, Bell said Hamling was looking to get an early jump on his pre-season and train with the second to four-year players when they commence their pre-season on Monday 7 December.
He added that young backline star Hayden Young would also make his return on Monday.
“The good news is Joel Hamling will be joining the first to four year players next week,” Bell said.
“As you all know he missed the entre year with an ankle injury and it’s been incredibly challenging for Joel when you take into account the severity, the fact that he’s been left back here in Western Australia at times to rehab with a small team.
“In early January Alex Pearce is due to return, he’ll be in 100 per cent football.
“Also, Hayden Young, one of our young guns also will be joining in full football in December.”
Bell said that the players have benefited from their break with minimal surgeries required.
“We were pleased that we only had minimal surgeries at the end of the year,” Bell said.
“Taylin Duman broke his wrist late in the season. He’s just recently had some wires taken out of that wrist but he’s training and doing a lot of work.
“There have been one or two others including Sam Sturt, it’s a bit technical but he had a tightrope taken out of his ankle recently which will slow him up a little bit.”
In a Q&A with members, Bell said that Fremantle would be flexible with each player’s pre-season schedule, saying the club would encourage those with families interstate to travel home over the Christmas break despite the risk of a mandatory quarantine on their return.
With the WA Government recently lessening WA’s border restrictions with Victoria, Bell said it was likely that some players could head home without interrupting their training schedules.
“In relation to the players visiting their families. It’s always been the intention that we encourage our interstate players to go home, whether there was going to be quarantine upon their return or not,” Bell said.
“The arrangement had been up until (the WA Government announcement) that they would go home to their state and come back around the 29th of December and quarantine for 14 days, which would mean they would miss a week of training. We thought it was entirely appropriate for those families to be reunited and to spend some time together.
“We’re very hopeful now, that with the strict borders coming down, they will be able to stay longer with their families and re-join us in early January.
“We do have a number of players that are locked into South Australia currently, it was poor timing with the outbreak that occurred there. We’ll work our way through that as well.
“Of all these things, family is the most important and the guys are very much encouraged to go home over Christmas and spend time with their loved ones.”