Fremantle’s backline is set up for years to come according to assistant coach David Hale, with emerging defenders Hayden Young and Heath Chapman both impressing in Friday’s intraclub game.
Young is back to full fitness ahead of his second AFL season after being limited to five games in 2020 due to an ankle injury.
Drafted at no.14 in the 2020 NAB AFL National Draft, Chapman has already done enough to justify his ‘first rounder’ status.
“There’s a couple of our defenders…it’s good to see Hayden Young back, he had an interrupted year last year. He’s a high quality player who’s only going to get better the more he plays,” Hale told 6PR.
“Chapman as well, he came in as a first round pick who looks right at home. His ability to read the ball in flight and roll off his opponent and back himself in the air is something that we’re really excited about.”
The forwards coach feels Fremantle also has plenty to be excited about in attack with rookie pick Josh Treacy having an impact in Freo’s pre-season match simulations.
While he was restricted early by the more experienced Joel Hamling, Treacy came into his own when Hamling, who was playing limited minutes, came off the ground.
The 18-year-old went on to kick an equal game-high three goals.
“‘Big Josh Treacy has come down and he’s been really impressive, obviously he came off the rookie list but once you get to the club it doesn’t matter where you were picked up and he’s slotted in really nicely,” Hale said.
“He’s a big boy, leads at the ball well and is a really nice kick. Every game we’ve played, he’s had an impact. He’s started really well.”