WAFL 2021: Former Fremantle Dockers defender Tobe Watson ponders return to midfield to get second AFL chance
Former Fremantle defender Tobe Watson has flagged a return to the midfield for Swan Districts as he looks to take advantage of some continued AFL interest.
An oversupply of defenders at Fremantle led to Watson being delisted after 14 games in three seasons, including a career-high 11 this season.
The 24-year-old had hoped to receive a second chance through the draft and revealed there was some interest from clubs to put him on as a train-on, including at West Coast, but it had cooled and he will now return to his original WAFL club where he played 22 games from 2017 to 2018 as an inside midfielder.
Coach Adam Pickering will need another experienced midfielder for season 2022 after Swan medallist Frank Anderson was ruled out for the entire season after rupturing his ACL in Swan Districts’ heartbreaking four-point elimination final loss to West Perth.
Watson said he was unsure where he would play next season, but would not rule out returning to the midfield to help cover the loss of Anderson.
“I’ve had a bit of a chat with Pickers over the phone, we’re just still conjuring up what I might be doing next season,” Watson said.
“I’ve shown I can play defence, tall and that mid-sized range, but we’re going to have a think about it through the pre-season.
“I always want to show versatility. Whenever I played in the backline I wanted to prove I could play on the bigger guys and smaller guys and try to open yourself up to more roles in teams.
“If I can go back in there and prove I can play as an inside midfielder again, it just adds another string to the bow.
“Maybe it might change the opinions of a couple of these AFL clubs out there and might just prove to them that I’ve got something else in me.”
Watson also wouldn’t give up hope of a return to the AFL as soon as next season.
“There are plenty of avenues to get back into the AFL system these days,” he said.
“It’s just about getting back to Swans, getting really fit, playing my best footy there and hopefully another opportunity arises pretty soon.”
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