The Fremantle Dockers have announced they will include two debutants in their round one clash against Port Adelaide, with draftee Andrew Brayshaw and Bailey Banfield taking the field in their first AFL games.
Senior coach Ross Lyon has invested a lot of confidence in the two young players following their magnificent pre-season showcase, particularly in their two JLT Community Series matches and AFLX match versus West Coast.
Fremantle Captain Nat Fyfe presented the two with their playing guernseys following the teams announcement to slot them into the line up ahead of their round one match.
Brayshaw was taken by the Dockers with their number two pick in the 2017 AFL Draft and he has handled the relocation from Melbourne with class, displaying a high level of play throughout the pre-season.
There are high expectations for Brayshaw at the club, already pinned as the teams next key midfielder going forward, having previously signed a two-year extension on top of his two-year rookie deal.
“Nat [Fyfe] said that I’d worked really hard all summer and I’d earnt my spot,” Brayshaw told fremantlefc.com.au.
“It was pretty surreal hearing the words from his mouth and going up to shake his hand. It was an awesome experience.”
Banfield, who Fremantle elected to pick with their number five pick in the 2017 AFL Rookie Draft has impressed in the Dockers pre-season games. He’s shown poise up forward, kicking three goals in two games, whilst averaging 15 disposals.
The Perth youngster was unfortunate to be overlooked in the last two AFL Drafts before being given a chance to earn his spot on the Fremantle list this season.
Fremantle can expect the 20-year-old to play with a lot of intensity, formerly described as a first possession player with a strong frame with the ability to control the contest.
“I’m not too nervous yet, that will build throughout the week. I’m just really excited at the moment and really, really glad that I get my chance,” Banfield told fremantlefc.com.au.
“Coming in, I thought I was a long way off playing so it’s definitely exceeded my expectations.”
“It was always a hope and a goal but not one that I thought was necessarily realistic.”