Fremantle Dockers

AFL Photos Resize Template (10)

Potential Bennell contract extension surprising

Garry Lyon admits he’s shocked that enigmatic midfielder Harley Bennell will be offered a contract extension by Fremantle.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon revealed that Bennell’s attitude has impressed him and that he will be given a new deal regardless of the amount of football he plays between now and the end of the season

While the Melbourne great is curious as to how the club can justify extending Bennell’s stay at the club, the 25-year-old’s undoubted potential could be the luring factor behind Freo’s decision to recontract him.

“Absolutely I’m surprised,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.

“They would know better than us at how he’s tracking but physically he continues to get to the line and maybe play a game or two and breaks down.

“Combined with the fact he’s been on his last chance or been given a number of chances, I’m a bit surprised.

“Over the journey there have been players that clubs across the board have been prepared just to hang on to and hang on to in the hope.”

Essendon champion Tim Watson echoed Lyon’s sentiments surrounding Bennell’s extension.

“You would think it’s optimistic as to the idea that he could get a contract extension,” Watson said.

Bennell has been plagued by injuries since moving from the Gold Coast to Fremantle in 2015, but is gradually getting back to full fitness, having played eight games for WAFL side Peel this season, collecting 19 disposals and booting a goal in his previous outing for the Thunder.

“We would like Harley to be here and be contracted,” Lyon said.

“Harley knows that and (manager) Colin Young knows that. All things being equal, regardless of senior football and progression, Harley will be here. We really value him.”