FREMANTLE rookie Bailey Banfield has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension after playing all but one game in his debut season.
Banfield, 20, will be promoted to the senior list next season after extending his stay at the Dockers until at least the end of 2020.
Overlooked in two National Drafts, Banfield has made the most of his opportunity, performing some excellent negating roles on gun opposition midfielders.
The Claremont product was selected for round one and played every game until he made way for team balance ahead of the club’s win over Carlton last Sunday.
“It’s been awesome playing through the midfield and lining up in the centre square bounces with some of the biggest names in footy,” said Banfield.
“It’s been one of the highlights of my year.”
“You’re just playing on the best player and you’re seeing what they do, their work-rate and just the little tips and tricks about how they get the ball and how they defend and filing that away for future use.”
Banfield has averaged 14.7 possessions and four tackles and is in the mix for a recall to take on one of Geelong’s star midfield trio in Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood or Gary Ablett at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
Banfield’s re-signing comes after fellow rookie Taylin Duman and yet-to-debut- tall forward Hugh Dixon extended their stays at the club until the end of 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Fremantle are in talks with uncontracted veterans Aaron Sandilands and Hayden Ballantyne about their futures, with coach Ross Lyon describing the situation as ‘delicate’.
Sandilands is the Dockers’ third-longest servant with 265 games under his belt, while Ballantyne is keen to play on but is yet to receive a formal offer.