Fremantle's Rhys Palmer to join GWS - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fremantle's Rhys Palmer to join GWS

By Justin Chadwick 06/09/2011 07:40:10 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle midfielder Rhys Palmer hopes his move to AFL newcomers Greater Western Sydney on a four-year deal will help revive his stalled career.

Palmer broke onto the AFL scene in grand style in 2008, winning the Rising Star award to announce himself as a future star.

But the 22-year-old has struggled ever since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in 2009, tumbling down the pecking order at Fremantle and losing his place as one of the club's first-choice midfielders.

Palmer signed on with GWS on Tuesday, joining the Bulldogs' Callan Ward and Adelaide's Phil Davis as players to have defected from their original clubs.

Melbourne's Tom Scully is expected to announce he will be joining the trio at GWS on a multi-million dollar deal.

"It was the hardest decision that I have ever had to make," Palmer told

"The relationship with my mates and the staff at Fremantle is very strong.

"However, the opportunity to play in the midfield that is being given to me at GWS is what I trained for all through my football career."

Palmer's manager Colin Young claimed some Melbourne-based clubs were also interested in the left-footer.

But Palmer's decision to sign with GWS is good news for Fremantle, who will now receive compensation from the AFL through draft picks.

Although Palmer has been dropped for poor form numerous times over the past two years, the fact he has played 53 games, was a No.7 pick in the 2007 national draft, is only 22 years old and won the Rising Star award in his first year should carry some currency when the AFL decides on the level of compensation.

His salary at GWS will also be taken into account.

In other news at Fremantle, ruckman Jonathon Griffin, who has struggled to break into the side this season due to the presence of Aaron Sandilands, is rumoured to be seeking a trade to Port Adelaide.

Palmer's exit and the retirements of Roger Hayden and Byron Schammer have made life a tiny bit easier for coach Mark Harvey as he ponders which players to cut loose after the club's failed season.

Although Fremantle's finals hopes were ultimately dashed by a horror run of injuries to key players, Harvey was disappointed by the lack of fight shown by the club's depth players.

Chris Mayne, Ryan Crowley, Clayton Hinkley, Dylan Roberton, Clancee Pearce, Jack Anthony, Kepler Bradley, Paul Duffield, Michael Johnson, Adam McPhee and Jay van Berlo all endured forgettable seasons, and Harvey indicated the club's fringe players could face a nervous wait over the coming weeks.

"That group in effect hadn't progressed to the next stage," Harvey said.

"So those players, they've got to make up their mind whether they really want to go to the next level and they can handle the pressure of rising to that occasion.

"We've come to the conclusion on a number of things and we know where we're heading and the review will take place as of this week."

Fremantle assistant coach Barry Mitchell has already quit the club in order to return to Melbourne, with former Dockers skipper Peter Bell looming as a possible candidate to replace him.

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