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From the Archives: Then and Now

Ryan Miller  April 13, 2018 12:28 PM

The GIANTS and Fremantle are set to do battle at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday afternoon.

It’s Nathan Wilson’s first game against the GIANTS since moving back to Perth during the 2017 trade period, while GIANTS forward Matt de Boer will face his former club for the second time. 

After delving into our photo archives we’ve found photos of the players to have played for both clubs. 

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Nathan Wilson

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The dashing defender with a booming kick started his career at the GIANTS as an underage recruit, making his debut in the GIANTS’ first-ever game, Round 1, 2012. After struggling to become a regular in the GIANTS starting line-up in his first three seasons, Wilson had a breakthrough season in 2015 and established himself as one of the finest rebounding defenders in the competition. After 77 games with the GIANTS from 2012 to 2017 Wilson requested a trade back to Perth so he and his partner could be close to family for the birth of their first child. Wilson has played all three of the Dockers’ games in 2018, averaging 18.7 disposals per game and 5.7 marks. The image on the left is of Wilson in round 15, 2012 while the photo on the right is from round 2, 2018. 

Matt de Boer

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Matt de Boer was selected by Fremantle in the 2009 rookie draft and became one of the Dockers’ numerous rookie selections successes that include the likes of Aaron Sandilands, Ryan Crowley, Paul Duffield and Michael Barlow to name but a few. Debuting the first Western Derby of 2009 (round 9) de Boer became one of Fremantle’s most dependable defensive forwards. During his 138 games for Fremantle he played in 10 finals including the club’s only Grand Final appearance in 2013. Delisted by Fremantle at the end of the 2016 season de Boer was drafted by the GIANTS with pick 58 of the 2016 NAB AFL Draft. Hampered by a hamstring injury early in his career at the GIANTS de Boer has gone on to establish himself as not just an important part of the GIANTS’ line-up but one of the club’s best leaders, being added to the leadership group in 2018. The photo on the left shows a fresh-faced de Boer playing for Fremantle in a 2010 Semi Final against Geelong. The photo on the right is from the GIANTS’ round three, 2018 Sydney Derby. 

Cam McCarthy

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A highly rated prospect from South Fremantle the GIANTS snapped Cam McCarthy up with pick 14 of the 2013 NAB AFL Draft. He debuted in the final round of 2014, kicking a goal in the GIANTS’ win over the Western Bulldogs. McCarthy then had a breakthrough season in 2015, playing 20 games and kicking 35 goals. Sighting homesickness McCarthy didn’t play a game in 2016, before being traded to Fremantle in the 2016 Trade Period. McCarthy finished the Dockers’ leading goalkicker in 2017 with 25 goals from 19 games. The 23-year-old old has kicked five goals from his three games in 2018. The photo on the left shows McCarthy celebrating his goal on debut in round 23, 2014 while the photo on the right shows McCarthy in an almost identical pose, celebrating a goal against Gold Coast in round 3, 2018. 

Tendai Mzungu

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After five seasons of WAFL football with Perth, Tendai Mzungu was selected by Gold Coast as a pre-listed player in 2010 but before he played a game for the Suns he was traded to Fremantle. He went on to play 102 games for the Dockers across six seasons after debuting in round 9, 2011 as a 25-year-old. An integral part of the Dockers side that made it to a Grand Final in 2013, Mzungu kicked Fremantle’s first-ever goal in a Grand Final. Delisted at the end of 2016 alongside Matt de Boer, Mzungu was given an AFL lifeline by the GIANTS with pick 15 of the 2017 Rookie Draft. After an impressive JLT Series, Mzungu debut for the GIANTS in round one, 2017 but it wasn’t to be a dream debut. Mzungu tore a hamstring early in the second quarter of the opening round and after an extended period on the sidelines went on to play a further three games in the orange and charcoal. Mzungu retired at the end of the 2017 season with 106 AFL games under his belt, to return to Perth as coach of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy. You’ll still see Mzungu in action as the Dockers’ runner in AFL games. The photo on the left is Mzungu in his AFL debut in round 9, 2011 while the photo on the right is of Mzungu in his first game as a GIANT in the 2017 JLT Series match against West Coast in Naranderra.

Rhys Palmer

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Drafted from East Fremantle with pick 7 of the 2007 AFL Draft, Palmer made his debut for Fremantle in round 2, 2008. An outstanding season saw Palmer win the 2008 Rising Star award ahead of Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli. After a solid start to 2009, Palmer suffered a season ending knee injury that saw him sit on the sidelines for 12 months. He returned in 2010 and played a further 28 games for the Dockers, bringing his total to 53 games before he announced he was signing for the GIANTS as an uncontracted player. Palmer made his GIANTS debut round one 2012 and went on to play 69 games for the GIANTS in five seasons, kicking 72 goals. Palmer’s final game for the GIANTS came in the 2016 Preliminary Final with the zippy forward replacing the suspended Steve Johnson. During the 2017 Trade Period Palmer left to Carlton where he played just one game before retiring at the end of the 2017 season. The photo on the left is of Palmer playing for Fremantle in round 18, 2008 against West Coast, while the photo on the right is Palmer celebrating one of his three goals against Hawthorn in round 6, 2016.