PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25: Will Brodie of the Dockers breaks past Xavier O'Neill of the Eagles during an AFL practice match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers at Mineral Resources Park on February 25, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Fremantle recruit Will Brodie is proving to be one of the sharpest set of steak knives throughout the start of his first campaign in purple.

The former Suns midfielder swapped the Gold Coast for Perth in the off-season as a trio of selections joined Brodie in heading to Cockburn, with Pick 19 seen as the centrepiece of the transaction.

While the Dockers parted ways with 2022 second and fourth-round selections in the trade, they welcomed the services of a former top 10 selection in Brodie.

Across five seasons with Gold Coast, Brodie managed just the 25 appearances, 22 of which resulted in losses.

The meteoric rise of Touk Miller, coupled with the prioritised development of top 2019 draft selections Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson, saw Brodie fall further down Stuart Dew's engine room pecking order.

Senior figures in Hugh Greenwood and Brandon Ellis would also command minutes at AFL level each week, while the likes of Brayden Fiorini, Lachie Weller and Darcy Macpherson would stake their case for stoppage rotations.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Will Brodie of the Suns marks during the 2017 AFL round 23 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns at Adelaide Oval on August 26, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The opening three weeks of the 2021 season saw Brodie feature in 116 of his season's total 133 centre bounce attendances, with his stocks quickly falling from there onwards as he would feature in just two more matches.

In search of a fresh start and with a hole having opened in Fremantle's midfield, Brodie has found greener pastures in a switch to the Western Australian docks.

To start this season, Brodie has played all five matches - already the second-highest season tally of his career - to slot into the Dockers' midfield effortlessly.

He hasn't just taken on a depth role too, with the 24-year-old excelling alongside the likes of Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong as a three-pronged midfield ensemble.

Brodie has amassed career-high numbers for almost every key metric for a midfielder, having more than doubled his disposal, tackle, clearance, inside 50 and contested possession averages from last year.

Like his start to last season, Brodie is a common presence at centre bounces, however this year the big-bodied midfielder is reaping the reliance the Dockers have placed on his shoulders to replicate the efforts of the departed Adam Cerra.

From Rounds 1-5 Brodie has recorded 342 CBAs as he continues to cement his place in Justin Longmuir's midfield, resulting in a seventh-placed ranking in the league for contested possessions, having amassed 70 to his tally.

To compare that total to his time at the Suns, Brodie is on course to tie his tally of 196 contested possessions in just his 14th match as a Docker.

The Shepparton product has also seen vast growth in total effective disposals, intercept possessions and ground ball gets as he plays a multifaceted position for Fremantle.

Having perhaps had his move to the Dockers only eventuate given the Suns' reported need to shed salary space, the Queensland club are sure to only have their list woes compounded after losing Hugh Greenwood to North Melbourne and seeing Brodie's rise since joining the Dockers.

Currently ranked 26th overall in MVP Standings, there's certainly a strong argument to suggest Brodie has been the bargain buy of the off-season.

Will Brodie's 2021 vs 2022 averages

Metric 2021 2022 Differential
Disposals 12.8 26.8 +14
Tackles 1.6 4.8 +3.2
Clearances 2.4 6.8 +4.4
Score Involvements 3.2 5.2 +2.0
Inside 50s 1.2 4.0 +2.8
Contested Possessions 6.2 14.0 +7.8
Effective Disposals 9.0 18.4 +9.4
Intercept Possessions 1.0 3.2 +2.2
Ground Ball Gets 4.6 9.6 +5.0
Centre Bounce Attendance % 26.6 68.4 +41.8