Bond: We have played the kids
Fremantle football manager Chris Bond has defended the club’s record of playing the kids.
After an 0-5 start for the reigning minor premiers there has been a lot of talk in the media about a ‘rebuild’ for the Port club.
The Dockers have the oldest list by average age and the third most experienced list in terms of games played.
But speaking on 6PR Sports Today, Bond said it is unfair to say the club doesn’t develop young players.
‘History shows that our (young) players have played,’ Bond said.
‘Ross’ first year was 2012 and the players out of that (2011) draft were Tom Sheridan, Cam Sutcliffe, Lachie Neale and Lee Spurr.
‘Two years later Lachie Neale, Cam Sutcliffe and Lee Spurr were second-year players in a grand final.
‘Hayden Crozier’s the other fifth year player who has played as well and played on the weekend.
‘If they earn the right to play, they’ll play.’
The following year, Fremantle took Matt Taberner at pick 11 in the rookie draft.
In the 2013 draft the Dockers took Michael Apeness (pick 17), Alex Pearce (pick 37), and Brady Grey (pick 58).
Apeness has played two AFL games, while Alex Pearce emerged midway through 2015 and has played 17 matches, while Grey played his second game on Sunday.
Fremantle have played three of the four draftees from the 2014 national draft.
Lachie Weller (pick 13) has played eight games, Conor Blakely (pick 34) has played once, Ed Langdon (pick 54) spent rounds 2-5 in the seniors.
Darcy Tucker, who was Fremantle’s highest pick (27) from last year’s draft, debuted in Sunday’s loss to Carlton.
‘Matt Taberner is another player who has come under some criticism from people, but Ross has put two finals series and 30-40 games into these players,’ Bond said.
‘Alex Pearce is another one, Lachie Weller, Ed Langdon, they’re all young players who are developing really well under Ross and our team and are playing.’