While the decision to remove the duo from the club's senior list was made in an effort to create spaces ahead of the draft, both Blakely and Crowden will be selected by the Dockers at the upcoming AFL Rookie Draft.
Though the pair will need to wait until November 26 before their future is officially confirmed, Fremantle Executive General Manager of Football, Peter Bell, explained that they would remain in selection contention next season.
“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 told fremantlefc.com.au.
“With the delisting comes our commitment to re-rookie them both in the Rookie Draft immediately after the National Draft.
Fremantle have committed to re-rookie Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely in the upcoming NAB AFL Rookie Draft ⤵️ #foreverfreo
— Fremantle Dockers (@freodockers) October 27, 2021
“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.”
The Dockers will now attack the double-dayed draft on November 24 and 25 with the full use of their haul of picks.
At the time of writing, the club currently holds the 6th, 8th, 19th, 61st, and 69th selections, with Fremantle already revealing that at least one will be used on a local key forward.
Throughout their stints on the senior list, Blakely has managed 78 games from seven campaigns, while Crowden achieved 40 from four.