Hasleby, Solomon 'need to stay at Freo' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hasleby, Solomon 'need to stay at Freo'

By Justin Chadwick 28/07/2009 02:22:30 PM Comments (0)

In-form Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands has implored the club to ensure out-of-contract AFL midfielders Paul Hasleby and Dean Solomon remain at the Dockers for "years to come".

Hasleby has been offered a one-year extension but the veteran midfielder has baulked at the offer, claiming he will walk unless he is offered a two-year deal.

Solomon is yet to be tabled an offer, with his shocking on-field disciplinary record causing some concern amongst Fremantle's hierarchy.

The Dockers have blooded 11 debutants this season and Sandilands said the club could not afford to lose the experienced heads of Solomon and Hasleby with so many youngsters still finding their feet at the club.

At 29 years of age, Solomon is the oldest player at Fremantle.

"They are two quality players ... we definitely need them to be at the club for years to come," Sandilands said on Tuesday.

"The more experienced players that are around (the better) because there isn't a massive amount at the moment.

"These kids have got to learn off those sorts of players.

"Solly has been great since he's been at the club and same with Haze, so hopefully they're both here next year."

Solomon has been suspended for a total of 17 matches throughout his 206-game career but Sandilands said the former Bomber's toughness around the clinches was crucial to Fremantle's developing side.

"That's one of Solly's main strengths the way he throws his body in at every contest, so he just sets a great example for all the young players," he said.

Sandilands is contracted until the end of 2011 but said he was yet to speak to the club about a contract extension beyond that, playing down any talk he would become a prime target for the new Gold Coast franchise.

"We've still got five rounds this year and a full season next year, so I'm sure at some stage over the next 12 months the club (Fremantle) will sit down and have a chat," he said.

Sandilands, described by coach Mark Harvey as a "tower of strength", has been a shining light for the Dockers this season and is almost certain to earn a second straight All-Australian berth.

The 211cm ruckman has averaged 17.6 possessions and 33.4 hit-outs per game this season but said his next challenge was to establish himself as a far greater threat when resting up forward.

"It's a good place to be rather than on the bench," he said.

"Hopefully I can start taking a few more marks and kicking a few more goals and giving Zac (Clarke) more time in the middle."

Meanwhile, Fremantle will be without young wingman Tim Ruffles for up to 12 months after scans revealed he would knee a full knee reconstruction.

The 18-year-old, taken with pick No.68 in last year's national draft, was stretchered off in the dying minutes of Fremantle's five-point western derby win after his left knee buckled as he ran in to contest a centre-square ball-up.

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