Young gun set to fire for Freo

Bridget Lacy and Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

Broome’s Bailey Banfield said it was a bonus to be able to start his AFL career at home in WA after Fremantle picked him up in the rookie draft recently.

Banfield responded to being overlooked last year by winning Claremont’s league best and fairest at just 19 this season.

The tough 189cm inside midfielder, who boasts an elite vertical leap, was rewarded on November 27 when the Dockers swooped with selection five.

“I’m pretty stoked at the moment — it’s awesome,” Banfield said.

“I wasn’t really expecting it to happen in the national draft, so I had my fingers crossed and knew that I’d done everything that I possibly could to put my name up, so I’m glad it went my way.”

The 19-year-old was born in Broome and played junior football for the Bulls, before moving to Perth at 15.

Banfield said he was keen to learn as much as he could from Dockers’ on-ballers.

“I think Nat Fyfe and David Mundy — obviously two gun midfielders — are pretty high up there in terms of best players in the AFL,” he said.

“I am looking forward to getting into training and getting stuck in.”

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