Hayden Ballantyne playing for his AFL future

29 May, 2018 by Liam Sheedy

While the 2018 season started reasonably well for Fremantle, a disappointing run of results has seen the Dockers lose four of their last five matches.

Fremantle now find themselves 13th on the ladder and performance is rightfully being scrutinised.

The playing squad has overseen significant change in the last two years. Some of the more experienced players currently in the team are in the spotlight.

Pundit and former Premiership coach Robert Walls this week put the blowtorch on Danyle Pearce, Michael Johnson and Hayden Ballantyne. His assessment of the Freo forward in particular extremely scathing.

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If there’s ever a time to make sure you start to play your young talent, it’s now, because they just haven’t stood up. Hayden Ballantyne, in my opinion, was never a very good player and how he’s getting a game now just staggers me. There’s three plus-30 year olds that I wouldn’t play for the rest of the year.”

Hayden Ballantyne not done yet

Earlier this month Ballantyne suggested he still had another two years of football in him. The 30 year-old feeling confident after a full pre-season and a positive start to the year, he could recapture his best form.

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“The way I feel like I’m covering the ground and the way the team is coming together, I definitely feel like I’ve got another couple of years left for sure.”

Goals is not the only measure of a forward. While impacting the scoreboard is important, there is an expectation for a small forward to also get the ball and apply defensive pressure.

The statistics confirm Hayden Ballantyne is certainly not in career best form using the above measures. Three goals, averaging 11.5 disposals and four effective tackles in the last month.

While Ballantyne has played all ten games thus far in 2018, he will need to start having more of an impact if he wants to remain in the side and most importantly earn a new contract after signing a one-year deal at the end of 2017.

by Liam Sheedy – contributor
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