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Clancee Pearce looking inside and under

Nathan Schmook  February 28, 2013 8:15 PM

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Clancee Pearce is looking to become an in-and-under midfielder this season

 

FREMANTLE midfielder Clancee Pearce has set about improving his stoppage game after establishing himself as a highly effective outside player in a breakout 2012 season.

Pearce was Fremantle's most improved player last season, ranking No.3 at the club for disposals and finishing 10th in the best and fairest after playing every game.

The 22-year-old, who was delisted at the end of 2011 before earning a second chance under coach Ross Lyon, will now look to build his inside game after a summer spent working closely with stoppages coach Mark Stone.

"Last year I built my tank up a little bit and the midfield role came about. I loved that challenge and the challenge this year is to play more of an inside mid role," Pearce told AFL.com.au.    

"There's a whole bunch of blokes vying for that spot, so I'm trying to get that down pat as well as my outside game.

"It's always been a challenge and that's the beauty of the game, you're always learning and never stationary."

Pearce has played 26 games in three seasons on the rookie list, mainly across half-back where his accurate and penetrating kick was an asset.  

His development went into overdrive, however, when Lyon arrived at Fremantle Oval and told him to "get rid of the fat arse".

A ruthless pre-season refined Pearce's body shape and transformed him into a player capable of playing through the midfield at AFL level.

With his midfield game becoming more rounded, and experience as a half-back and defensive forward, perhaps his biggest strength in 2013 will be versatility.

"I love it, knowing that I can play anywhere," Pearce said.  

"I really enjoy the challenge whether I'm going to go back, midfield or forward.

"I just put my work boots on and away I go. That's how I see myself."

Pearce said his outlook on football had changed a lot since arriving at Fremantle as a rookie in 2009, and he approached the game as a "whole lifestyle".

"Every step I take it's a decision about whether it's a good decision or a bad decision towards football," he said.  

Then I've also learned to switch on and off towards football so that's good … I've learned the balance."

He said Fremantle's focus on "great effort and playing your role" gave him confidence that the team was ready push for a premiership.  

"Everyone's really driving for that final goal and we're really focused on what we have to do," he said. 

"We're constantly learning and we've got a lot of players who put their head down and go out there, putting in great effort and playing their role.

"That's all we need to do."

Clancee Pearce is a midfielder in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 84.64 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.

Nathan Schmook is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nathan