CONFIRMED: Fremantle Dockers' first draft pick Hayden Young to make AFL debut against Brisbane Lions today
Hayden Young will make his Fremantle debut against Brisbane at the Gabba today.
The prized draftee was one of two emergencies held out of this morning’s scratch match against the Lions’ reserves and will come in for Nathan Wilson.
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The classy left-footer was the Dockers’ first pick (seventh overall) in last year’s national draft and one of a trio of consecutive top-10 selections alongside Caleb Serong and Liam Henry.
A quad setback late in the pre-season prevented Young, the brother of Western Bulldog Lachie Young, from pushing his case for an opening-round debut against Essendon at Marvel Stadium.
But the enforced coronavirus break appears to have done him the world of good, producing an eye-catching performance in last Friday’s intra-club hit-out at Cockburn which included a stunning pack mark.
Fremantle legend Paul Hasleby urged his former club to blood the Dandenong Stingrays product during the week.
“I’d like to see Hayden Young get an opportunity. He was tracking very well prior to his quad injury a few weeks out from round one,” Hasleby told The West Australian.
“He’s a high draft pick, has done a lot of work and has that beautiful left-foot kick which certainly adds to any team.
“Freo have probably lacked that accurate, penetrating kick from the back half in recent times so if he’s ready to go, I’d play him.
“He’s done enough work and the reports from many within the club are ‘this guy is a star, he’s ready to go’.
“He’s had a long break to get over load issues that he had throughout the pre-season and if he’s got the tick from the medicos, he’s another one I would put in straight away.”