Collard called up for Dockers debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collard called up for Dockers debut

24/05/2007 07:07:05 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle youngster Clayton Collard will literally fill the boots of his boyhood idol Jeff Farmer when he makes a dream Indigenous Round debut for the Dockers against St Kilda on Friday night.

Small forward Collard, the 31st player taken in last year's national draft, was left stunned when he was told by Dockers coach Chris Connolly he would be making his AFL debut in front of a national TV audience.

And with Farmer still suspended after his nightclub fracas with a bouncer last month, the under-pressure Dockers will be hoping 18-year old Collard can emulate the man he modelled his game on.

"This is a special weekend, and I would like to play with the Wiz (for Fremantle) one day," Collard said.

"I played with him a couple of weeks ago for (WA Football League team) South Fremantle, which was pretty good.

"Jeff Farmer was my idol growing up, I just love the way he plays, kicks goals and reads the play.

"He has been a mentor here and looked after me, told me what to do, how to get a kick - he has been good to me."

Fremantle's first selection at the 2006 NAB AFL National Draft, Collard is a graduate of the AFL-AIS Academy, and one of the eight indigenous players on Freo's list this year, the most ever to be at an AFL club at the one time.

Having kicked 19 goals in eight matches for South Fremantle in the WAFL this year, including hauls of four in three consecutive matches, he comes in with the Dockers 3-5 and desperate for a win.

"I was hoping for at least one game, but I really thought the year after next year, I would make my mark," said Collard.

"But it is a dream to play AFL ... although the speed will be a lot faster, and it will be a lot more physical."

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