Tarrant takes stock at Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tarrant takes stock at Dockers

By Justin Chadwick 30/03/2009 08:37:55 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle swingman Chris Tarrant admits he is unlikely to play on beyond next year but is enjoying his new role as a defender.

Tarrant, who will notch his 200th AFL game when he lines up against Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, is feeling the toll after 11 seasons at elite level, nine at Collingwood before his high-profile move to Fremantle at the end of 2006.

"I made a comment that it's 200 games and I probably won't make 250," Tarrant said on Monday.

"You just don't know.

"Footy's getting so much harder, the pre-season we had this year was just incredible.

"I've got this year and next year on my contract ... the oldest player at our club at the moment is 28 and I'll be 30 then (when my contract ends in 2010).

"It's really not up to yourself when you hit the age of 30 I don't think ... it's out of your hands after that."

Eyebrows were raised when Fremantle coach Mark Harvey first floated the idea of using Tarrant as a key defender but the experiment has sparked life into the 193cm Victorian, who was under pressure after managing just 56 goals in his first two seasons at the Dockers.

On Sunday, when Fremantle conceded a whopping 25 goals in their meek 63-point loss to the Bulldogs, Tarrant kept dangerman Brad Johnson goalless.

"I was nervous going into the game ... I realised I would be playing on someone smaller than me if they went small, so I had that in the back of my mind," Tarrant said.

"It's actually very mentally draining worrying about which way your opponent's going, where he is, whereas down forward you are leading your opponent towards the ball and you're making all the moves.

"I don't think I will play always as a backman.

"Harvs has made it clear I will be moved forward at times."

Tarrant said his new role in defence had been a refreshing change as he enters the twilight of his topsy-turvy career.

"I thought this could be the spark that I need going into my 12th season, which is a long time.

"I would have given you good odds - playing my 200th game for Fremantle at fullback, it's quite amazing.

"To be able to play with Dean Solomon as well, who's been my best mate since 15, 16, has been a dream come true."

Solomon has served his suspension for last year's elbow on Cameron Ling and will bolster the Dockers against the Bombers but defender Roger Hayden (hamstring) is in doubt.

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