Carlton's Dale Thomas and Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne were both informed by their respective clubs that they would not be offered contracts for 2020. Thomas, 32, announced his retirement at the time. However, after Carlton's win over the Saints, he said he would consider offers from other clubs. He played game 100 as a Blue in Round 22 after crossing from Collingwood where he played 156 games including the 2010 premiership. He was named All-Australian in 2011.
Thomas said he was content with his decision, “While this is something I didn’t want to hear, I was realistic that it was a chance ... I also understand the direction the club is going ... I have experienced so much in my career since walking in as a blond-haired kid ... in 2005. The opportunity to live out my boyhood dream ... I am proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve."
Coach David Teague said it was a hard decision, " ... Where Carlton's at ... You've gotta project forward, and where the Carlton list was at, and the positions available, it just means he's been squeezed out. He's been outstanding, I've loved coaching him, the way he goes about it.”
Source: sen.com.au, sportingnews.com.au, afl.com.au
Small Docker forward Ballantyne has been out of the side for most of the season due to persistent hamstring injuries. He played his third game in front of the Freo faithful when the Dockers hosted Essendon at Optus Stadium. His management advised the club that Ballantyne, 32, will seek playing opportunities elsewhere next year whether it be AFL or in the WAFL. He is also considering an off-field role somewhere. Ballantyne was drafted in 2005 after winning the Sandover Medal (WAFL Brownlow equivalent) while playing for Peel Thunder.
Ballantyne reflected on his career, teammates and supporters, "I’ve loved my time at the club ... Just a huge thank you…obviously I couldn’t have done this without all the support ... To the players, thanks a lot to everyone for all the help and support along the way ...".
General Manager Peter Bell said, “Hayden has always been hugely popular with our players, respected for his leadership and admired for his incredible determination and tenacity. He is also much loved by our members and supporters ... ".
GAMES 171 (through Round 22)
GOALS 274 (through Round 22)
All Australian 2014
Fremantle leading goal kicker 2014
Goal of the Year 2011
Fremamtle Life Member
Source: Luke Mordesse, Fremantle Media Releae
Article last changed on Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:38 AM EDT