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Will it be a farewell? Veteran Docker says he could play another 'year or two'

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FREMANTLE veteran Hayden Ballantyne doesn't want to be gifted a farewell game against Essendon, and is still holding out hope of playing in purple next season.  

Despite battling hamstring issues in recent campaigns, the 32-year-old is confident he can go on "for another year or two" – even if that means moving to a rival club.

A potential Optus Stadium send-off during Freo's 'Retro Round' for fan favourite Ballantyne and Aaron Sandilands this Saturday night has come into focus after a heartbreaking loss to St Kilda put a major dent in the Dockers' finals chances.

But Ballantyne hasn't had a conversation with coach Ross Lyon about a goodbye game, and wants to earn his spot on merit. 

"It’s always going to be club first," Ballantyne told Mix 94.5.

"If the club can still play finals and I’m not in the (best) 22, then I wouldn’t ask for it and wouldn’t expect it. 

"It always has been and always will be about the club and what’s best for the club. 

"But it might not be a farewell, you never know, I might be playing again next year in purple. 

"We'll see what happens at season's end, but like I said I think my form's building and I could step into the side and play good footy."

Ballantyne has only made two AFL appearances this season, tearing his hamstring in round one and then gathering 14 touches and laying one tackle against the Bulldogs in round 19 before being dropped. 

He kicked two behinds and laid six tackles for Peel in a big loss to South Fremantle on Saturday, a week after booting two majors in a loss to Claremont.

"I've put my hand up to play next week and fingers crossed I'll get the nod," Ballantyne said.  

"I’ve definitely got the drive, the ambition and the passion to play.

"The body’s holding up now. I had a hammy earlier on in the year, but the body’s pulling up good after games. I’m still running out games really strong.

"I definitely still think I’ve got a year or two (left in me). 

"Whether that’s at AFL level or state league I’m not sure, but I’ll definitely be playing next year at some level." - Hayden Ballantyne

Ballantyne was All Australian in 2014 after booting 49 majors and is third on Fremantle's all-time goalkicking list with 254 from 170 matches.

But his output has tailed off, with Ballantyne returning 11, 21 and one goal over the past three years from 29 appearances.

While his manager Colin Young has been in "constant talks" about a new deal for 2020, if that doesn't materialise Ballantyne could seek a new home.

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"Absolutely, that’s something I’d definitely look at," he said. 

"Obviously I’d have to tick it off with the boss at home and make sure she was happy with that. But I’d be open to anything like that.

"I love playing footy. It’s the best job in the world to get up, go to training and do what we do every week and get out and play games.

"It’s the best job in the world and I want to do it for as long as I physically can."