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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

No bad blood following Broadbent defection

South Fremantle manager of male football Charlie Burke insists there is no bad blood between the club and Peel Thunder following the contentious recruitment of young ruckman Jackson Broadbent.

Broadbent won the Mel Whinnen Medal for the best player afield in last year’s colts grand final win for the Thunder but sought a transfer away from the club this summer due to believing he would lack opportunity behind the club’s AFL-listed ruckmen, with his wish to head to Fremantle Oval eventually granted through arbitration.

The 18 year old made his league debut last weekend, with this weekend shaping as the first time he will face his former club as well as a rematch of last year’s elimination final.

Burke told Sports Breakfast the two clubs had great respect for each other.

“In the end, they were protecting their club and I was doing my job to try and get a ruckman because of our ruck depth, so at the end of the day, it’s not personal,” Burke said.

“For Jackson, I think people forget, the kid literally turned 18 only a few months ago and he’s been in the press for a lot of things, every game he’s played over the last sort of year or so when he was in the AIS Academy, he’s been under a lot of scrutiny.

“I feel for him as well, because every time it sort of comes up, whether it be in the newspaper or on radio or discussion through the club or things like that, it’s a little bit unfair on him as well, being such a young fella.”

The Bulldogs lost several players to retirement over the offseason and have also seen stars Matthew Parker and Blake Schlensog depart the club, with Burke saying a refresh of the club’s list was well underway.

“Parker left a lot closer to the start of the season, which was frustrating from a list management point of view, but we’re really still confident [he] will come back at some stage,” he said.

“Blake was a bit earlier in the season, so we kind of knew we had to cover him a little bit more, but obviously an outstanding player and someone that would certainly add value to our list.

“It also has given a lot of other guys opportunities. We’ve had seven boys make their debut in the first two games (and) I think we’ve got about 11 or 12 guys in our best 22 who have played a dozen or less games, so it is pretty exciting as well.”

The Bulldogs still need another win to get back to zero points following an eight point penalty for a salary cap breach, with Burke saying it would be a big weekend for the club.

“It’s going to be a huge game, obviously in the league side against Peel but the women have got the derby against East Fremantle straight after the league,”

“It’ll be a massive weekend, we’ve got free entry to all serving and veterans as well, really expecting a big crowd. Obviously going to have some of the festivities before as well to recognise the ANZAC’s and have the Ode and the national anthem.

“It’s also the Gary Holland Cup, so Peel are the current holders of the Gary Holland Cup, so hopefully we can smash it out of their hands.”

The league game gets underway at 2:10 pm on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.


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