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Suban to step into middle

Nick Suban of the Dockers looks to pass the ball during the 2013 NAB Cup round 01, week 01 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Geelong Cats at Patersons Stadium, Perth. (Photo: Will Russell/AFL Media)
Stephen Hill has backed Nick Suban for a move into the Fremantle midfield
FREMANTLE speedster Stephen Hill has backed teammate Nick Suban to step into a midfield role this season after a standout summer that has seen him transform into one of the club's lead runners.

Suban played 14 games last season, but was often used as the substitute and didn't cement himself in a regular position, playing a mix of half-back and high forward roles.

The 22-year-old has constantly been nominated by his teammates as 'best-on-track' this pre-season, and led the field in a gruelling running session on Tuesday morning in Jurien Bay, where Fremantle was completing its community camp.

With a host of second- and third-year players battling for a spot in Fremantle's midfield this year, Hill said Suban would be a good fit as he enters his fifth AFL campaign.   

"He's lost a lot of kilos and he's looking really fit," Hill said.

"It'd be good to have him in the midfield. He's another one who's really had a good pre-season.

"He's got a bit of speed this pre-season and I'm looking forward to him having a good season."

Line-breaking youngster Anthony Morabito was set to resume his role in the Fremantle midfield in 2013, but a devastating third knee injury has opened a spot in the engine room.

Second-year midfielders Cam Sutcliffe (four games in 2012) and Tom Sheridan (one) have both impressed this pre-season and are pushing for round one selection, while Lachie Neale will be keen to add to his 11 games from 2012.

"They've had really good pre-seasons, they're running really well and they're really going to be up there pushing for a spot in the team," Hill said.

"There's a lot of guys through there now, we're going to be challenging each other for spots in the midfield, so that will be good for the club.

"Tom (Sheridan) and Cam (Sutcliffe) are training really well, so they'll be pushing for a spot."

Hill was Fremantle's standout performer in the club's opening NAB Cup matches against Geelong and West Coast, winning 13 possessions (six contested) and five clearances across the two shortened games.

Winning more contested possessions has been a continued focus for the 22-year-old this pre-season.

However, he was also hopeful that recruit Danyle Pearce, who had 12 possessions and four inside 50s across the two games, could allow him to have more freedom on the outside.      

"He's such a great player, so if he's running free it's good to have him out there and if they (taggers) take him hopefully I can get free," Hill said.

"It's good having him running around as well, using his legs and speed. Hopefully we can work well together."

Stephen Hill is a midfielder in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 66.55 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
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs