Fremantle Dockers delist Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely but promise to give pair rookie deals
Fremantle have delisted Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely but the pair are set to earn rookie lifelines with the club.
The Dockers have committed to select the pair in the AFL rookie draft, opening up two spots on the club’s primary list ahead of the AFL draft next month.
Executive General Manager of Football Peter Bell said the decision was primarily for administrative reasons and thanked both players for their flexibility.
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Crowden played a career-high 16 games this season while Blakely started nine of his 13 games as medical sub.
After moving Crowden and Blakely to the rookie list, Fremantle now have 32 primary list players.
Clubs are allowed to have between 36 and 38 players on their primary list and up to six Category A Rookies.
The move to free up two primary list spots means the Dockers can use all five of their draft picks next month.
Fremantle hold selections 6, 8, 19, 61 and 69.
“In order to give us flexibility as we approach the draft, the tough decision to delist Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely was made in consultation with both of the players and their management groups,” Bell said.
“With the delisting comes our commitment to re-rookie them both in the Rookie Draft immediately after the National Draft.
“It is important to note that whether players are on the Primary List or the Rookie List, it makes no difference to their chances of selection.
“In recent times, we’ve seen both Lachie Schultz and Ethan Hughes playing a lot of footy from the Rookie List, as well as earn themselves multi-year contractual extensions.
“This move is primarily for administration reasons and both players have been fantastic in allowing the Club this flexibility.”
Clubs are also able to sign Category B rookies outside of the 42 player cap - the Dockers recently signing Irishman Ultan Kelm.
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