Emerging ruck extends

Fremantle have shored up their ruck stocks by extending Lloyd Meek for a further two seasons, keeping the emerging ruckman in Freo colours until at least the end of the 2021 season.

Drafted at pick no.69 in the 2017 NAB National Draft, Meek is yet to play an AFL game but showed plenty of promise representing Peel in the WAFL.

Meek said he couldn’t wait for the 2020 season to start as he targets an AFL debut under new senior coach Justin Longmuir.

“I’m really happy I’ve signed for another two years. I think the club’s heading in a really good direction,” Meek said.

“I’m looking forward to every bit of it. I was at the club for a few days when we returned for the Doig Medal, I met Justin Longmuir and went into his office and had a really good chat.

“He seems like a great guy and I think all the players are going to trust him really quickly as well as the direction he’s taking our club.”

Meek’s 2019 WAFL season finished in bittersweet fashion after starring for Peel against Swan Districts in round 12, sustaining a foot injury in the final minutes of the game.

He had 36 hitouts, 20 disposals, six marks, six tackles and two goals prior to coming off the ground with the season-ending injury.

It meant that Meek’s second season in the AFL system would end without a Freo Dockers appearance but it also gave the club every reason to lock Meek in.

While it was hard to be missing out on AFL football, Meek said that Fremantle gave him the confidence to keep pushing.

“It’s a credit to the club. I’ve been supported really well, especially by ‘Belly’ (Peter Bell) and all the coaches,” Meek said.

“They were encouraging me, telling me that they were confident I was heading in the right direction.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to play and I felt that they were on my side and encouraging me along.

“They just said to keep improving every week and I was able to keep doing that and I felt like I was really building.

“Obviously with my foot injury, I was pretty shattered to go down and miss the back half of the year but I feel the level that I finished on during the year has helped me get this new contract.”

Meek is currently enjoying his break on his family’s farm near Ballarat but said he couldn’t wait to reunite with his teammates.

“I’m very keen to get back to Perth. I’m very much ready to go back and start training again,” Meek said.

“I’ve been following my program but I’m keen to see all the boys and, hopefully, have a few family and friends come over and visit me again during the year which is always good support.”

Fremantle list manager Mark Micallef credited Meek’s hard work, both on his game and in his rehabilitation from injury.

“Lloyd is a young developing ruckman who has worked really hard on his craft in his time at Peel,” Micallef said.

“He unfortunately sustained an injury that set him back a little bit this year but we’re very confident that he’ll recover and develop really nicely as a ruckman for Fremantle Football Club for a long period of time.

“Prior to sustaining his injury against Swan Districts, we could see Lloyd was showing everything that we’d been working on.

“His development has been really good over the past 12 to 24 months and giving him a two-year contract extension was something that we felt was warranted.”