After a frustrating run with injury, key defender Joel Hamling has day one of pre-season in his sights as he targets a 2022 return.

In an interview on The Final Siren podcast with Freo fans ‘Duck and Oz’, Hamling said he was feeling confident after undergoing further surgery in July to get his ankle ‘fixed and sorted’.

Hamling said he feels good enough to be fit to play in a month but added it was best to be conservative with his recovery.

“I’ll get back and be ready for day one of pre-season,” Hamling said.

“At my age, I’m 29 (next season), I’d prefer to play the next three or four years consistently. It’s just the risk of injury if I was to go jump and land awkwardly and miss another 12 weeks.

“I’ll tape it and do all the things I can do. I’m super confident, it’s just getting the mobility and range back.”

Speaking following Fremantle’s 64-point loss to Brisbane on Sunday, Hamling said these difficult losses can happen with an inexperienced group.

“We have to emphasise that we have a really young squad. We have to get our boys to the elite level. What does that take? More training, more work in the off-season - eventually we’ll get there,” Hamling said.

“We’ve got a good young core right now, the fans can see that. It must be frustrating for fans, sitting here watching it’s frustrating (for me) too, but I’m here for the long haul and I’m ready to get into it.”

21:12 Mins
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PODCAST | Final Siren with Joel Hamling!

Join our post-match analysis on the Final Siren following a tough night at Optus against the Lions. Plus, a refreshing chat with Joel Hamling. Tune in, Freo fans.

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While most of the positivity around Fremantle’s future focuses on the likes of Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra, Caleb Serong, Sean Darcy and Hayden Young, Hamling said there were a number of other players coming through.

“To see Josh Treacy tonight…it’s a hard gig as a forward. He’s 19 years old and usually I lick my lips going up against 19 years olds. Tonight he took some nice marks, he always presents well and crashes the contest,” Hamling said.

“There’s a lot of stuff to work with. Brandon Walker’s been great. His run off half back’s been good. We’ve got a lot of mature guys who are playing well. Alex Pearce is back, Griffin Logue is getting a chance now and hopefully I get back there as well.”

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