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Delisted Freo onballer hopes for a lifeline

Tommy Sheridan hopes he has a football life beyond Fremantle - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Tommy Sheridan,Delistings
Tommy Sheridan hopes he has a football life beyond Fremantle
I've always trained really hard and I've got no regrets
Tommy Sheridan

DELISTED Dockers runner Tommy Sheridan is willing to go anywhere for an AFL lifeline and believes he still has plenty to offer after his career in purple was cut short at 81 games.

Left in limbo since picking up 21 touches in Fremantle's round 23 loss to Collingwood, Sheridan wasn't told his contract wouldn't be renewed until after the NAB AFL Trade Period.

While he was bitterly disappointed, the soon-to-be 25-year-old was relieved to finally discover his fate – although the timing could have been better.

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"I got a call Friday, just before (ex-teammate) Chris Mayne's wedding, so it was a bit deflating," Sheridan told Perth radio station 6PR

"The reason I got the call was the boys – ‘Belly’ (football boss Peter Bell) and (coach) Ross (Lyon) – wanted me in Monday at 10am … they don't normally do the phone call.

"But I said, 'look, fellas I'm in Melbourne, so if she's no good, the news, just give it to me now'.

"It's something that no one really wants to receive, but I guess it's good to get some clarity because it's been a long time coming since the end of the season.

"I've been hanging on waiting for a decision, so I'm kind of glad it's all over."

Sheridan's seventh season in the west always shaped as make-or-break after he signed a one-year contract extension last October. 

He only played two of the first 10 games in 2018, but an encouraging run home – when he averaged nearly 18 disposals in 11 matches – appeared to boost his bid for a fresh deal.

Now he's holding out hope for a second chance when the delisted free agency period opens next Thursday.  

"I've always trained really hard and I've got no regrets," Sheridan said.

"The coach even said that to me on the phone, he goes 'you've got no regrets, you were one of those blokes who always worked hard', so that's something I'll look back on and be real proud of.

"Even right now I'm still in ripping nick. I've been working my arse off while this decision has been hanging.

"I'm desperate, still burning for that ultimate success - that's why we play the game.

"That premiership is what everyone dreams of and if a club pops up and is interested, I'll sit down with them and have a real open and honest chat."

Drafted from the Calder Cannons via pick 16 in 2011, Sheridan established himself as a Freo regular in his fourth season, when the Dockers finished minor premiers.

But he made only 22 appearances in the past two years, squeezed out of his best spot on a wing by Bradley Hill's arrival from Hawthorn and Ed Langdon's breakout 2018.

Despite the "flattening" end to his Freo career, Sheridan is grateful for the opportunity and confident the rebuilding Dockers are on the right path after three seasons outside the top eight.

"I was quite lucky when I got to the club, it was a really strong winning culture," he said.

"When I did finally get in the team, we rarely did lose. I think those years were really tough but so enjoyable.

"You walk off the field, and I played a few finals, so I was involved in some great wins and they're things I'll look back on when I'm older. 

"And the friendships I've made at the club and outside of it, obviously I'm from the east coast so moving over as an 18-year-old, it's quite daunting.

"But to know all the people I've met, now looking back it's been an incredible journey and something I'm really thankful for."