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Friday, August 17, 2018

Harley Bennell and Hayden Ballantyne sign new deals to stay at Fremantle Dockers in 2019

Harley Bennell has praised the ‘father figure’ influence of Ross Lyon after signing a new one-year deal to remain at Fremantle next season.
Bennell and veteran forward Hayden Ballantyne this morning locked in one-season contracts for 2019, following this week’s announcement that decorated midfielder David Mundy would also play on next year.
Bennell, who is due to return to WAFL action this week after battling a string of calf issues, thanked the club’s senior figures for their support.
“Ross has been really good. He’s been like a father figure for me since the day I got here,” Bennell said.
“His support as well as (football operations manager) Chris Bond and (chief executive) Steve Rosich have been outstanding. I’m just looking forward to working with them for the year ahead.
“We’ve got a young bunch of boys coming through and I can’t wait to play with them in the coming season.
“Coming back, I’ve played 10 games in the WAFL for Peel which has really helped me. As the season went on, I felt I got better each game.”
Bennell has played just two AFL games in the past three years, but Rosich said the club was keen to reward the former Gold Coast Sun’s persistence with a new deal.
“Despite going through some tough periods with injury, Harley has continually kept his head up and worked extremely hard at getting back on the football field,” Rosich said.
“We’ve seen Harley play 10 games in the WAFL this season and we have every hope he can return and play his best football in a Fremantle jumper.”
Ballantyne said he was “stoked” to get the chance to add to his tally of 166 games at the Dockers.
Obviously, it’s probably coming towards the end of my career. It’s another year in the purple and I’m very proud to play at this club for such a long time,” he said.
“I look forward to some more good times ahead.”
Ballantyne has booted 17 goals in 15 games this season.


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