FIRST-YEAR revelation Hayden Young says he wants to 'perfect his craft' in defence before even contemplating a move to the midfield.

Young announced himself as a star of the future last year, impressing off half-back in his first four games before his season was brought to a halt because of a syndesmosis injury to his right ankle.

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The 19-year-old's pinpoint left-foot kicking drew comparisons to teammate Stephen Hill, with Young viewed as a vital part of Fremantle's future.

His strong contested marking was also a feature of his game.

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A common theme among young defenders is their desire to eventually move into the midfield, but a switch isn't on Young's mind.

"At the moment my ambition is to play at half-back and to nail down that position," Young said.

"If there's a spot in the midfield in the future - I'm not sure. At the moment my focus is on half-back, just trying to perfect my craft in that position."

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Young said he has been trying to model his game on best and fairest winner and All-Australian teammate Luke Ryan.

"I've learnt a lot from watching Luke this year, the way he manipulates his opponents and holds his space and reads the play," Young said.

"He's been a great asset for me to learn off."


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The battle for spots in Fremantle's defence is set to be red-hot this year with Joel Hamling (ankle), Alex Pearce (ankle), Griffin Logue (toe) and Young (ankle) all expected to return from long-term injuries.

Ethan Hughes, Taylin Duman and Reece Conca played the majority of last season, but they face a fight to retain their spots.

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Young said he didn't initially realise how serious his ankle injury was when he went down against the Saints in round six.

"When I stood up I could put weight on it, so I thought I might be OK," he said.

Hayden Young in action during his first season at the Dockers. Picture: AFL Photos

"But the scans weren't great. The rehab went really smoothly, and the medical staff looked after it really well, so it's all good now.

"It was pretty frustrating to go down with the injury. I've learnt a lot from that experience, and hopefully it will hold me in good stead in the future."

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Young was among the 15 Dockers players who had to undergo two weeks of quarantine after arriving back from Victoria recently.

They were all free to return to normal duties on Friday.