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WIDESPREAD interest from rival clubs has raised delisted Fremantle defender Sam Collins' hopes of being thrown an AFL lifeline.

The 23-year-old was one of five Dockers cut last Friday after a frustrating year when he only made two senior appearances, despite a standout WAFL campaign for back-to-back premiers Peel.

Only hours after being told his Freo fate, Collins fronted up to claim the Thunder's club champion award.

"There was a bit of raw emotion that day," Collins told this week during a break between packing his belongings for the move back to Victoria.

"It was the highs and lows all in one, which was a bit different.

"It was a tough day, but it was a good day as well."

Collins was one of the WAFL's dominant players this year, averaging 16 disposals and eight marks as the linchpin of Peel's water-tight defence. 

Despite being stationed at full-back, he was named the Thunder's best afield six times.

But he couldn't substantially build on his 12 AFL appearances that came during the second half of 2016, when he had been a shining light in Freo's gloomy four-win season.

Joel Hamling's off-season arrival, combined with veteran Michael Johnson's solid form and the emergence of Dockers draftees Brennan Cox and Griffin Logue meant Collins was always the next in line this year.

But the 192cm backman couldn't shift up the queue and, with young gun Alex Pearce set to return from a broken leg in 2018, Collins suspected his time in the west might be up.

He pushed that uncertainty into the background as Peel surged to its second flag, but 12 days later walked into his exit meeting with senior coach Ross Lyon and football boss Chris Bond bracing for bad news.

"Ross and Bondy were pretty honest with me and had good things to say and just gave me their reasons and that was that, we just went our separate ways from there," Collins said.

"(Johnson playing on) was part of it. It was more finding the number of backmen that they've got and with Brennan Cox – probably a natural backman playing forward – there was another one in that spot there.

"So they just felt that I wasn't going to get the opportunity and they essentially had too many backs, so I was out the door.

"I kind of knew the writing was on the wall after I put what I thought were some pretty good performances in at WAFL level."

Despite his disappointment, Collins will be forever grateful to Fremantle for giving him a chance as a mature-age recruit, via pick 55 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, after three impressive VFL seasons for Box Hill. 

But his AFL dream might not be over.

His manager, Tim Hazell from Vivid, has fielded interest from a handful of clubs and Collins is hopeful of earning another shot.

"I definitely believe in myself and my ability to play AFL football," he said.

"I think I've shown that in some of the games that I've played that I can match it at the top level.

"My goal for the next six weeks is to get my body right and get fit, so that if the opportunity does arise that I'll be ready to go and ready for a big pre-season.

"There's a bit of interest out there, which is good for me, and I suppose it helps me stay motivated over an uncertain period.

"Hopefully I get another look in somewhere else.

"I worked really hard to get a gig two years ago, and I'm not ready to let that go."

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