Hughes proud of AFL journey ahead of milestone
Fremantle utility Ethan Hughes says he would not change anything about his career ahead of his long-awaited 100th game of AFL football.
The Bunbury product will bring up the milestone in his ninth season with the Dockers when they come up against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium at 11:45 am on Saturday.
Hughes told Sports Breakfast he had never considered leaving the club for greater playing opportunities.
“It certainly means a lot. It’s been a long journey, there’s been plenty of ups and downs, but I think everyone has their own unique journey,” Hughes said.
“I’ve played a lot of WAFL footy, I’ve been in and out of the side, injuries, form, everything that goes with an AFL journey.
“It’s just about building back from the adversity you’re overcoming and coming out the other side stronger.”
Hughes has solidified his spot in the side this season by learning a new role, having spent time on the wing as well as in his customary half-back role, with the 28-year-old said he had enjoyed the challenge of playing higher up the field.
“At the end of last season, I knew I needed to change up a few things,” he said.
“I got some good feedback at the end of last season from our coaches, went away throughout the preseason and worked on a few things, and by round one I found myself in the side.
“It’s just changing the mindset, doing a lot of repetition, working really closely with our coaches, Joel Corey really helped me and worked with me.”
After finishing sixth and winning a final last year, Fremantle’s 2023 season has been a major disappointment, with the Dockers currently sitting in the bottom four, but Hughes is confident the club will quickly bounce back.
“It’s been tough, but I think that’s just part of AFL football,” he said.
“There’s no easy games from week to week and it’s a real challenge.
“We’re really developing some young guys who are starting to thrive in their roles and their positions and it’s just getting more experience into them.”