Fremantle veterans Michael Johnson and Hayden Ballantyne are on the verge of new contracts as the Dockers management commences an extensive cull of their senior list.
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Johnson and Ballantyne appear likely to be offered one-year deals despite Fremantle being in the midst of a comprehensive rebuilding campaign.

Veteran on-baller Danyle Pearce, defender Zac Dawson, injury-ravaged ruckman Zac Clarke, Garrick Ibbotson and young Victorian Harley Balic are all departing the Dockers.

The futures of enigmatic big man Matt Taberner and utility Nick Suban are uncertain.

Dockers list management strategy is prioritising young talent in this year’s national draft as well aiming for another ambitious trade period in October.

As many as 10 changes are on the cards at Fremantle as the club aims to drive back toward sustained success over the next three seasons

Johnson, 32, is one of only four Dockers to have played in all 22 senior games this season, along with key defender Joel Hamling, winger Brad Hill and reliable utility Lachie Weller.

Johnson played just four games last year after the important key defender suffered a serious hamstring injury in the round five loss to Carlton and missed the rest of the season.

Ballantyne, 30, may have salvaged his career with good performances in his last 10 games after recovering from a succession of serious hamstring troubles and surgery back in March.

The fiery small forward has averaged 10 disposals an outing and booted 11 goals.

Ballantyne booted 41 goals from 35 games over the past two years since he was an All-n in 2014.

Prospects of new deals for Johnson and Ballantyne appear likely despite Dockers recruiters chasing dashing Greater Western Sydney half-back Nathan Wilson and the imminent return of key position big man Alex Pearce from a broken leg.

Wilson, 24, is a Mandurah product and is looks destined to seek a trade back home for personal reasons.

Dockers list powerbrokers will also seriously consider emerging Peel Thunder key backman Aaron Naughton.

The classy teenager has crashed into calculations as a top draft selection in November after selection in the n under-18 team this season.

Naughton has also put in some highly impressive outings for Peel’s senior side heading into next month’s local finals series with the Dockers alignment outfit.

Ballantyne could be extended into a 10 th season despite fierce speculation another Fremantle product Brandon Matera will seek a trade back to his home town from Gold Coast.

Matera highly touted to move to Fremantle as another crumbing small forward, while the Dockers still have high hopes they can attract promising Adelaide forward Mitch McGovern.

McGovern, 22, is preparing for his second successive finals campaign with the high-scoring Crows while he contemplates a substantial offer from Dockers management as well as a handsome counter from Adelaide to stay.

McGovern has played just 35 senior games since he was drafted by the Crows with pick number 43 in the 2014 national draft.

Fremantle snared Weller at number 13 and impressive onballer Connor Blakely at 34 with earlier picks in the same draft that McGovern went to Adelaide.


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