Hayden Young has credited Andrew Brayshaw in part for his breakout performance against Richmond, where the exciting defender earned the NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for round 20.
The 20-year-old had a career-high 23 touches at 91 per cent efficiency, a team-high nine intercepts, six score involvements and 310 metres gained for the match.
He said that Brayshaw was one of two people at Fremantle who have had a big impact on his game in 2021 alongside assistant coach Matthew Boyd.
“Matthew Boyd and I have spent a lot of time together this year since he's come to a club. He's helped me a lot, particularly with my defence and having good defensive starting positions and then generating my offense from there,” Young said.
“In the past few weeks, I've been working really closely with Andy Brayshaw for game days. It's communicating with each other and instilling confidence in each other and making sure that we're on task and focusing.
“Those two have been massive for me this year, and Andy in particular in the past few weeks.”
Young said Fremantle’s midfield made him excited for the future after seeing the emerging group stand up to Richmond without the injured Nat Fyfe.
With 39 disposals, Brayshaw earned the maximum 10 votes in the coaches votes, while Adam Cerra earned eight for his 33 disposals, nine inside 50s, 11 contested possessions and eight marks.
Caleb Serong had 20 disposals despite only playing 66 per cent game time while kicking the winning goal.
“I think it's exciting where our midfield is right now, to be honest,” Young said.
“We saw on the weekend that our young midfield stood up, including David Mundy. They stood up against an experienced veteran midfield and got the job done.
“I think the future is bright, our slogan this year is ‘the future is here’ and I think we saw that on the weekend.”
Young said finals was a focus for the playing group but it all came down to delivering against Brisbane this Sunday at Optus Stadium.
“We have to keep focusing on just winning,” Young said.
“(Playing finals) definitely is in the back of our minds and we have a strong belief that we're good enough to make it and good enough to contend if we do.
“We're going to keep taking that belief into each week we play.”