Fremantle captain Alex Pearce would consider a move to Tasmania, dockers, career, trade, inaugural team, 19th team, AFL expansion
New Fremantle captain Alex Pearce says a late-career move to a hypothetical Tasmanian side is something he needs to consider.
The key defenseman, who came off three injury-interrupted years to enjoy a career-best season in 2022, said his home state has been “left behind” by the AFL and needs to find a place in the competition quickly.
Pearce, from Ulverstone on Tasmania’s north coast, was one of two skippers from Apple Isle in Wednesday’s AFL Captains’ Day, alongside Richmond co-captain Toby Nankervis.
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The 27-year-old said he has a passion for Tasmanian football and will need to think carefully about any offer that comes from an expansion side in three or four years.
“I’ve obviously settled into Perth very well and I’m very happy in this new role, which I’m very proud of,” said Pearce.
“But at the end of my career, of course, I will think about it … However, it is hypothetical and there is still a long way to go.
“I’m not sure my body will hold out for a few more years, so they might have to move it pretty fast!”
The AFL had a “great opportunity” to enter the Tasmanian market before other codes continued to lure people away from football, Pearce said.
“Nowadays there’s a lot more competition for young kids who play soccer — basketball took a big step up with the JackJumpers,” he said.
“I think we run the risk of being left behind in terms of footy… those other codes are progressing and we have a real chance as the AFL to take that control back.
“We’re a footballing state, we’re a proud footballing state and that feeling is still there everywhere, so I think this is a huge opportunity that the AFL needs to seize.”
Pearce said his focus is firmly on his new role with Dockers, who he believes given their considerable depth are well placed to improve on their semi-final appearance in 2022.
“We have a lot of guys vying for places – especially in pre-season when you’re just training and playing against each other. That makes the competition out there really tough and that serves us well,” he said.
He said forward Sam Sturt, who had impressed in Fremantle’s practice games against Adelaide and Port Adelaide, is ready for a breakout season.
“I think he’s gotten a little bit fitter – he’s been working and working this preseason and getting a chance in the last few weeks,” he said.
“He’ll always be dangerous when he gets the ball, he’s a great kick and he’s a really, really exciting forward, but the way he’s taken his pressure and tackling to new levels has been real impressive.”
https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/ill-entertain-the-thought-freo-captains-shock-tassie-reveal-amid-fears-afl-will-be-left-behind/news-story/8de0f18d9aaa2f32a9de4aa167856121 Fremantle captain Alex Pearce would consider a move to Tasmania, dockers, career, trade, inaugural team, 19th team, AFL expansion