Fremantle have set themselves up for the future with their four selections in the 2019 NAB National Draft, according to general manager of football Peter Bell.
After taking three top-10 picks on Wednesday night in Hayden Young, Caleb Serong and Liam Henry, Freo drafted South Australian Minairo ‘Michael’ Frederick at pick no.61.
It was the first time Fremantle have selected three players in the top-10 since drafting Paul Hasleby, Matthew Pavlich and Leigh Brown in 1999.
An exciting wing prospect from Woodville West Torrens, Frederick, who prefers to go by the first name of Michael, provides more running coverage in the midfield.
The draft sees Freo add talent all over the ground with Young an intercepting half-back, Serong an inside midfielder and Henry having the ability to play forward and on the wing.
Bell said that Frederick gives Fremantle depth behind midfield recruits Blake Acres and James Aish.
“Adding some outside run was always going to be important for us in the draft,” Bell said.
“Liam Henry can provide some of that as well and we brought in Blake Acres and James Aish (in the Trade Period).
“We think Michael’s a player that can really develop and we’re thrilled to have him.”
Frederick is the twin brother of Port Adelaide’s Martin, who is a second year player and is yet to make his debut.
Bell hopes Frederick will give Freo fans plenty to cheer for.
“I think Fremantle fans, when they have a look at what Michael can do, they’ll be really excited,” Bell said.
“He’s a really exciting wingman who can really cover the ground. He has a long stride, he’s a good athlete, he uses the ball well on both sides and we think he’s really going to develop quickly, so we’re thrilled to bring him in.
Due to Fremantle’s matching of Carlton’s bid on Liam Henry, Fremantle hold a -265 point deficit going into next year’s draft.
Bell said Fremantle’s first round pick would slide backwards based on the AFL’s draft value index.
“We have our round one pick for 2020 and also a second round pick which was originally tied to Melbourne,” Bell said.
“We also have a deficit on that 2020 first round pick which will mean it will slide back. As to how far, that depends on where we finish next year.
“For example, a number one pick would slide to pick two, while a pick 18 would slide to pick 26.”
Fremantle’s draft is far from over, with Freo able to sign two Category B rookies from their Next Generation Academy ahead of the 2019 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
In the Rookie Draft, Fremantle have committed to re-drafting Tom North and Hugh Dixon, while they also have space to take another new player.
“We have committed to re-drafting, if available, Tom North and Hugh Dixon. Then we may use a pick as well, so we’ll just work through that overnight. The draft is not yet finished,” Bell said.
“Also on the agenda of our meeting tonight is our Category B rookies, as we have rights to NGA players Leno Thomas and Isaiah Butters.
“We’ll look at what we’re going to do there and then our recruiters will turn their attention to the 2020 draft.”