Hayden Young recommits to Fremantle Dockers with contract extension until 2027

Eliza Reilly and Aaron KirbyThe West Australian
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Hayden Young will remain a Docker until at least 2027.
Camera IconHayden Young will remain a Docker until at least 2027. Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

Emerging defender Hayden Young has turned his back on Victoria, recommitting to the Dockers until 2027 as Fremantle lock in a key piece of their defensive puzzle.

Young is now the most committed player on Fremantle’s list, putting pen to paper on a four-year extension on top of his current contract, which is due to expire at the end of next season.

The lure of Victoria wasn’t strong enough to prise the 21-year-old from Perth, the emerging Fremantle defender putting full faith in his home away from home and refusing to explore a move back to Melbourne.

Drafted at pick seven in 2019 from the Dandenong Stingrays, the deal alleviates fears of Young following in the footsteps of recent turncoat Adam Cerra.

“When I got drafted by the Dockers, I was really grateful for the opportunity they gave me, and I was pretty committed to pay back the trust they put in me,” Young said.

“When the offer came to sign with the Dockers, I didn’t think twice. I was really happy with my decision.”

Young also credited the support of his former host family, his teammates and the broader Fremantle community for helping him settle in Western Australia.

“It was a pretty easy decision for me. Since I’ve come to the club, obviously it’s been a challenging three years with injury and COVID and dealing with all of that,” he said.

“But the support I felt from my club, teammates, the broader Freo community and my family back home in Melbourne, it’s made me feel really comfortable in Perth.

“I’m really happy to say Perth is going to be home for the next four years.

Hayden Young has played 21 games for Fremantle and has had a career best start in 2022.
Camera IconHayden Young has played 21 games for Fremantle and has had a career best start in 2022. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

“Now I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’ve got my family in Melbourne I get to see when I come back and also close family in Perth who are really supportive.

Young is averaging career bests in disposals, marks, and metres gained as he has cemented his spot in Fremantle’s talented back seven and said recommitting was an easy decision.

“I’m really invested in the footy club. I’m passionate about the direction we’re heading, and I want to be a part of it,” Young said.

“Perth’s home now, so I feel really comfortable here. I’ve really enjoyed my football over the past three years. I’ve felt the support from the club and the broader Freo community have made me enjoy living here and enjoy playing for this football club.

“Now I feel it’s my turn to give back to the Freo family and play some good footy over the next couple of years.”

Injury has played a role in the early stages of Young’s career, but when fit, the half-back has proven himself a first-choice member of Fremantle’s backline.

But the former Rising Star nomination could be in for a role shift down the track with the club interested in exploiting Young’s talents in the midfield.

“I’m open to adjustments in my role in the future, but at the moment, I’m purely focused on being the best defender I can be,” Young said.

“It’s pretty weird to think that far ahead (to 2027); at this rate, I’m just trying to be the best half backer I can possibly be for the team, and hopefully, I can play my role each week and keep winning games.”

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