In his quest for an extended run of games in 2022, young Fremantle forward Joel Western is hoping to soak up his peers’ sage advice. Western made four appearances in the back half of last season in his first season with the Dockers, and the teenager is targeting more game time next season. The Claremont product said rather than lean on one particular mentor, he was trying to soak up as much advice from as many teammates as possible, both young and old. 성인사진
“We’ve got a really good group of young boys, but we’ve got a really core group of older boys,” he said. “Being able to leech things, little bits from David Mundy, Michael Waters, Nat Fyfe, it’s good to adapt and get that little bit of an understanding from each veteran, instead of just leaching off one person.” The 54th pick in the 2020 AFL Draft and a former Fremantle Next Generation Academy starlet, Western said he had learnt a lot about the rigours of the professional set-up in his first professional season, but he quickly grew accustomed to it.
“I learnt a lot about footy this year that you probably don’t see from the outside. The challenges that do pop up, the difficulties of everything was tough, but I got used to it.” Debutant Joel Western of the Dockers is congratulated by Josh Treacy during the 2021 AFL Round 13 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Gold Coast Suns at Optus Stadium on June 12, 2021 in Perth, Australia.
“I wouldn’t say it’s huge, but it’s definitely a noticeable to step up. It’s a great challenge to take in and keep learning and working.” Western said he was thankful to have played the games he did last year and was hopeful of adding to his tally in 2022, but also mindful of a need to sharpen his tools of the trade. “I want to work on every aspect of my game, every day I come down to training I want to work on something different every time.”
Having survived a punishing training session in the morning, Western was one of a number of Fremantle AFL and AFLW players who attended the club’s annual bravery awards, where he helped present awards to 10 young people who had shown great courage on the wards at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Rockingham General Hospital. “We met some really good kids who have undergone some really brave acts over the last 12 months. I don’t even know if I would have been able to withstand it if I was that age,” he said.