Dockers re-sign five AFL players - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers re-sign five AFL players

By Justin Chadwick 01/06/2011 07:31:26 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle's quest to keep their emerging stars out of the reach of Greater Western Sydney received a massive boost on Wednesday, with Kepler Bradley and Hayden Ballantyne among five players to re-sign with the AFL club.

Ballantyne, who in less than three seasons has established himself as one of the competition's best small forwards, has re-signed until the end of 2014, while Bradley, Anthony Morabito, Tendai Mzungu and Jayden Pitt are all locked in until the end of 2013.

The new deals keep the quintet out of reach of GWS, who have been given the next two years to sign up one uncontracted player from each existing club.

Bradley, much maligned during his 94-game career, has been somewhat of a surprise packet this season, booting 20 goals from nine games to lead the Dockers' goalkicking.

The 25-year-old played under current GWS coach Kevin Sheedy at Essendon and would have been a prime target for the incoming club.

Morabito played 23 games in his debut 2010 season but will miss this year due to a knee injury.

And there are high hopes for 25-year-old mature-age recruit Mzungu and 18-year-old midfielder Pitt, snared with pick No.20 in last year's national draft.

Meanwhile, Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has scoffed at claims Matthew Pavlich is carrying an injury, claiming the skipper's perceived form slump over the past month has more to do with the players around him not pulling their weight.

The injury-hit Dockers have lost three of their past four games and could slip out of the top eight if they don't win Sunday's clash with in-form Hawthorn at the MCG.

"He probably would like his quality to be better, meaning his disposal but, apart from that, I think he's been physically playing the role (well) for us," Harvey said.

"I think he's contributing from a leadership point of view.

"I think he's playing quite well but there's a difference of opinion out there in the public domain and perhaps the media domain, but I think he's OK.

"I don't get caught up in all that opinion of how's he going.

"I know how he's going and, as I said, some of the players should be playing better around him that actually complements what he does."

Pavlich had played most of the season in the midfield but Harvey said the increased workload hadn't taken its toll on the 29-year-old.

"He actually played the majority of the game forward after halftime last week," Harvey said.

"I'm not here to justify why Matthew Pavlich plays on ball. In fact, he wants to get on ball as much as he can, particularly when the team needs momentum or we have to change momentum, so that's what a captain does."

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