Blakely rewarded for great season

South Western Times
Bunbury’s Connor Blakely placed ninth in the Fremantle Dockers best and fairest count at the weekend.
Camera IconBunbury’s Connor Blakely placed ninth in the Fremantle Dockers best and fairest count at the weekend. Credit: AFL Media

Bunbury-raised Fremantle Docker Connor Blakely has been rewarded for a sensational season by finishing eighth in the Dockers’ best and fairest count on Saturday night.

Blakely finished on 92 votes from his 17 games for the Dockers this season, with his year cut short after suffering a shoulder injury in Fremantle’s loss to the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

This was a massive jump from last season when he finished 15th with just 50 votes.

The 21-year-old played 17 of the Dockers first 18 games, averaging 24 disposals, including eight contested, and four tackles in just his third season of AFL football.

Blakely finished 66 votes behind Doig Medallist Bradley Hill, who won the best and fairest from midfielder Lachie Neale and captain Nat Fyfe.

The year had plenty of ups and downs for the emerging Docker, with Blakely dropped from Fremantle’s round 15 game against St Kilda after going surfing while away from the club because of illness.

“I’ve learned a lot from it and I feel I handled it pretty well,” Blakely told the Fremantle Dockers website last month.

“I wanted to make sure that my footy would do the talking and I wouldn’t let the incident play out with my form.

“If I were to fluctuate in my form, people would think I was affected by what happened.

“I made a promise to myself to play as hard as I could and do what the team wanted me to do.

“I think for the next few games until I did my shoulder, I certainly did that.”

Blakely polled five Brownlow medal votes this season, collecting single votes in five games across the season, highlighting his great year.

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