It was a mix of relief and excitement for Fremantle’s debutant pair in Brandon Walker and Joel Western against Gold Coast at Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Both Walker and Western are graduates of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, and were presented their playing guernseys by Fremantle’s former NGA coach, Tendai Mzungu.

Walker had 13 disposals, four marks and three tackles while Western was quieter on debut with four disposals, two tackles and a goal assist.

“It was great, it’s such an exciting feeling to get out there and play and the fact that we got the win is unreal,” Walker said.

“Even though we have trained here a couple of times, as soon as you run out and see the crowd and the music is playing, it’s so good.

“I’m so glad to get that out the way, it was an awesome feeling and a great atmosphere out there,” Western said.

“When you come out and see all the fans in the crowd, the stadium just keeps going up and I felt like I was in a fishbowl, it was good fun.

02:10 Mins
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'Such an exciting feeling to get out there and just play' | Brandon Walk

Brandon Walker spoke about Fremantle's 27-point win over the Suns in round 13 at Optus Stadium.

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Walker’s mum, dad and grandparents made up his family support in the crowd, while Western found himself in a ticket scramble to ensure his large showing of family and friends were all at the game.

“I was scrambling around yesterday trying to get all these tickets and to make sure everyone could get in,” Western said.

“I was just so happy to see everyone come down and support me.

“Being a WA boy, I already had lots of family and friends here.”

Both debutants pointed to the game of young forward Josh Treacy as their standout performer for the match.

“I think Josh Treacy was outstanding up there…he took a lot of clunks and brought the ball to the ground,” Western said.

“JT’ doesn’t miss, he is an arrow and hits everything!” Walker said.

02:38 Mins
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'It was an awesome feeling and a great atmosphere out there' | Joel Western

Alex Pearce spoke about Fremantle's 27-point win over the Suns in round 13 at Optus Stadium.

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Senior coach Justin Longmuir said both Walker and Western showed glimpses of what Fremantle fans can look forward to from the duo in the future.

“I thought they both showed a bit…Joel was probably a little bit quieter, but I don’t think it was day for our small forwards with the way we used the ball,” Longmuir said.

“Joel had his glimpses, he’ll learn a lot from today.

“I thought Walks (Brandon Walker) probably picked up where he left off at Peel.

“He is really good defensively, and he will just grow with ball in hand…You saw a glimpse of his speed through the corridor when he took the game on.

“The more he plays, the more he will be comfortable. They got their opportunity today, which they earnt and I thought they acquitted themselves well.”

Western hoped that sharing his first game alongside Walker would mark the beginning of a long career together.

“It’s a great feeling, he played such a great game and I was so happy for him,” Western said.

“Hopefully, this is just the start of it and I hope we can play 150 games together.”

10:24 Mins
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Justin Longmuir post match | Round 13 v Suns

Hear from Justin Longmuir post-match in round 13.

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