Sandover, Hughes Medallist Schloithe re-signs for two years

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 8:16 AM by Chris Pike

REIGNING Sandover and WJ Hughes Medal winner Haiden Schloithe has put aside the disappointment of missing out on returning to an AFL list by recommitting to South Fremantle and re-signing with the WAFL club for the next two seasons.

Schloithe is coming off an outstanding WAFL season with South Fremantle that saw him end up winning the Sandover Medal, the WJ Hughes Medal, be part of WA's historic state game victory over the VFL in Melbourne and be named to the Team of the Year among other achievements.

He brought up his 100th WAFL game with the Bulldogs in the process and the 24-year-old was seen by many as a great chance to get a look in at AFL level in 2018.

That didn’t end up happening and Schloithe has shaken off that disappointment to re-sign with South Fremantle for the next two seasons with his undoubted mission to now help the Bulldogs win a first premiership since 2009.

"It is great to sign for a further two years. I am very focused on playing some great football for South Fremantle and continuing with my mates towards taking the next step as a team," Schloithe said.

"I love the footy club, its people and especially my teammates. I am convinced this playing group can achieve the type of success we all want."

The 2017 season was a memorable one for Schloithe as he likely became the best all-round player in the competition with his combined abilities to star in the midfield both on the inside and outside, and then go forward to kick goals.

The end result was his second fairest and best award with the Bulldogs from the past four years with his 2015 and 2016 only hindered by injury. 

He has now strung together four outstanding seasons when on the field, though, and it's being healthy in 2017 and for the pre-season that he puts down his brilliant form to.

"It wasn’t so much a point to prove that I was good enough to be on an AFL list, I just wanted to get back to the club that I love and the club that gave me my opportunity when I came up from the bush. I wanted to get back to playing footy that I knew and my family knew I was able to produce," Schloithe said.

"I haven’t really changed too much. Obviously I had a pretty consistent 2014 and the last couple of years I've been hampered by a couple of serious ankle and foot injuries. 

"But to be able to play the back half of last season and get a full pre-season coming into this year really helped. It just comes down to me being able to get a full pre-season in."

South Fremantle football operations manager David Depane was pleased to announce the re-signing of Schloithe as another significant move as the Bulldogs attempt to take the next stop from having reached the past two WAFL preliminary finals.

"From a club point of view, it is fantastic to have locked away Haiden for the next two years. Obviously Haiden had a fantastic season last year and I am sure he will be looking to have another strong season next year," Depane said.

"Haiden has grown immensely as a player and person over the last few seasons, which was evident in his football last season. We are looking forward to seeing Haiden continue not only his strong form but also his leadership amongst our group in 2018."

Schloithe re-signing is yet another exciting announcement from South Fremantle ahead of the 2018 WAFL season.

Earlier this week, South Fremantle announced it had secured the signature of former 156-game Fremantle Dockers AFL veteran and triple WAFL premiership player Nick Suban.

On top of that, Mason Shaw, Tom Vandeleur, Blayne Wilson, Jacob Dragovich, Dylan Main, Brendan Verrier, Blaine Johnson, Marlion Pickett, Steven Edwards, Steve Verrier, Shane Hockey and Ashton Hams have all re-signed for the 2018 season as well.