Rising Star Caleb Serong ready to be a marked man for Fremantle Dockers in 2021

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Craig O'DonoghueThe West Australian
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Willetton Primary School students donated old sporting gear today to Fair Game’s Be A Sporting Hero campaign as Caleb Serong and Michael Frederick joined them at the launch.
Camera IconWilletton Primary School students donated old sporting gear today to Fair Game’s Be A Sporting Hero campaign as Caleb Serong and Michael Frederick joined them at the launch. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Reigning AFL Rising Star Caleb Serong has revealed he is preparing for extra attention in the wake of his stunning debut season with Fremantle but is keen to embrace the added responsibilities that come his way.

Serong was brilliant during 2020 as he collected at least 20 possessions in six of his 14 games. He polled 48 of a possible 50 votes to win the Rising Star by nine votes.

The 20-year-old is anticipating closer attention this year, given clubs have had a summer to study his strengths.

“You’ve got to prepare for that,” Serong said.

“For me, I’m focusing on what I can do and what I can control. That’s my preparation and how I go about training and prepare for games.

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“At the moment I am giving myself the best opportunity to perform. It’s just about continuing to do that heading into round one and hopefully the rest of the season.”

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir showed his faith in the younger players last year by repeatedly giving them big jobs.

Captain Nat Fyfe then paid tribute to their improvement at the end of the season. He said it was time for more experienced players to hand over bigger roles in a bid to continue their development and help to fast track the team’s rise up the ladder.

Caleb Serong had a brilliant debut season.
Camera IconCaleb Serong had a brilliant debut season. Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

Serong, Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw displayed their talent during last weekend’s intra club game when they were used as the prime midfield trio in the younger team. They are expected to get more opportunities during Saturday’s practice match against West Coast.

Serong said the youngsters relished the chance to work together.

“We haven’t really had a chance to play with each other too much as just us three in the midfield,” Serong said.

“That’s pretty exciting. We’ve been looking forward to that opportunity when it came. On the weekend it was really cool to play with them as well as Lloyd Meek.

“He played really well in the ruck. We are all 21 and under so hopefully it’s exciting times for Freo in the next few years.”

Both clubs will select 28-man squads for the clash but Fremantle have ruled out key forward Matt Taberner (quad) and ruckman Sean Darcy (knee).

Defenders Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling will play after resuming from injury during the intra club match.

Serong and Michael Frederick today joined children at Willetton Primary School to promote Fair Game’s ‘Be A Sporting Hero’ campaign.

Students brought old sporting equipment to school so it could be taken to under-serviced communities and organisations across Australia.

“It’s a great organisation” Serong said.

“I know how important it was for me to have team sport and grow up in a community where I was lucky enough to have enough equipment to play.”

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