Toast Welcome to Freo Leno Thomas – Fremantle’s 2019 Rookie Draft Pick [Category B]

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serial_thrilla

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Mar 25, 2014
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Fremantle Next Generation Academy coach Tendai Mzungu is hopeful rookie recruit Leno Thomas will benefit greatly from playing football in a full time environment.

Thomas will look to follow in the footsteps of fellow NGA graduate and defender Jason Carter and break into the Fremantle line-up in his first season.

The 18-year-old is now one of four NGA graduates at Fremantle, joined by Carter, no.9 pick Liam Henry and fellow 2019 NGA rookie signing Isaiah Butters.

Mzungu said Thomas has developed greatly in his time schooling with Clontarf and playing football with Claremont, and he expects this trajectory to continue at Freo.

“Leno moved down to Perth from Warmun when he was 13-years-old. English was his second language so he had some real challenges adapting to Perth life,” Mzungu said.

“It’s a great story of someone who has persevered. He’s faced adversity a lot of times and has responded each time. I’m really proud of him.

“I know his family and friends will be pumped to see how far he’s come. He’s a great story for the Warmun community and also for our community as well.

“Now he’s in a full time environment at Fremantle, I think he’s in a really good place to blossom and attack the pre-season period.”

Thomas made headlines when he saved Claremont in the 2019 WAFL colts Grand Final against Peel.

His smother prevented a shot on goal and preserved the Tigers’ five-point lead in the dying moments.

Mzungu said he was thrilled watching on in the stands.

“He tells me he was the hero on grand final day,” Mzungu said.

“It was a great story for him, all the hard work that’s gone into his season, to get that moment where he stood up and did that smother, I was certainly excited up in the stands and punching the sky.

“He’s going to provide some real highlights and I look forward to seeing him in that environment.”

Originally a forward, Mzungu said Thomas shone when he switched to defence.

“He’s an exciting player, he likes to run and dash off the half back flank,” Mzungu said.

“He grew up as a forward for most of his career but he was thrown down back last year and he excelled in that position.

“As his fitness improved, he started to run and he kicks the ball really well.

“He’s got a lot developing to do and improving but no doubt he has some exciting traits.”

 

ImperialPurple

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If he keeps the rats tail, he snatches #26 in a close race for me!

Welcome Leno.

Is he the first player we've ever drafted for whom English isn't their first language?
Nup, sorry. That was my ex-husband’s name, and to think of calling out his name in excitement (May be the first time it will have happened tbh) fills me with dread. 😖

Monaro for 26 for mine.
 

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Benzi10

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Side note; I am a big fan of Mzungu's work.
Yeah seems like he is doing a good job. Was one of the first person Henry thanked after been drafted. He has that perfect personality to work with kids, a decontrated bloke that easy going and has genuine care for the development of those young men off the field.
 

Clems Knee

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For those of us who are a bit older,
according to Wikipedia, Warmun is the name for Turkey Creek, on the Great Northern Highway between Halls Creek and Kununurra.
It truly is the heart of God’s own country, with both Lake Argyle and the Bungle Bungles nearby.
 

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yyou

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Excited about this kid & his first name reminds me of the classic old song, Lido shuffle
 

MadMundy

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He's in a fair bit of strife for that drunk driving stunt. Stupid decision.
 

apuchar

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By the sounds of it great closing speed on the lead and anyone who saw him in the Colts grand-final would have seen he had good defensive abilities and is a sublime kick. He can take a good defensive mark too.
 

GingerDocker

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By the sounds of it great closing speed on the lead and anyone who saw him in the Colts grand-final would have seen he had good defensive abilities and is a sublime kick. He can take a good defensive mark too.
Can we claim him as the second coming of Roger yet?
 

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