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Defender dodges Freo cull with one-year deal

Ethan Hughes has offered a one-year deal at Fremantle in 2019 - AFL,Contracts,Fremantle Dockers,Ethan Hughes
Ethan Hughes has offered a one-year deal at Fremantle in 2019

ETHAN Hughes will have the opportunity to re-establish himself at Fremantle next season after signing a one-year contract extension.

The 23-year-old has avoided the round of Docker delistings, which has seen Tommy Sheridan, Cam Sutcliffe, Brady Grey and rookie Luke Strnadica depart the club. 

Hughes fell out of favour this season after all-but nailing down a best-22 berth by playing in 18 of the final 19 matches in 2017.

The zippy 187cm defender only made five senior appearances this year – and was named an emergency nine times.

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Hughes was squeezed out of a refurbished backline following superboot Nathan Wilson's arrival from Greater Western Sydney, with midfielders Connor Blakely, Stephen Hill and Adam Cerra also used as mid-sized defenders last season.

A gifted runner, Hughes played 11 games for Peel this season, averaging 20.6 disposals and seven marks.

Originally taken as a rookie from Swan Districts at the end of 2014, Hughes has played 29 games in purple and will be retained on Freo's senior list next season.

Lockdown defender Ryan Nyhuis might be upgraded after the maximum three years on the rookie list.

The Dockers have committed to the 22-year-old for 2019 and will have to delist Nyhuis before re-drafting him if they want to keep him as a rookie. 

The Northern Territory product, who famously booted four goals on debut against North Melbourne last year despite never before playing as a forward, was in and out of the Dockers line-up this year.

Nyhuis played eight games across four stints, taking his career tally to 12 matches.

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After bringing in Jesse Hogan, Rory Lobb, Travis Colyer and Reece Conca (free agent) this off-season, the Dockers will take a pick in every round to the upcoming national draft on November 22 and 23.  

Freo finished a fruitful Trade Period with picks 14, 31, 43 and 65 from rival clubs, ahead of the club's original pick 81.