Walters wants Docker Ballantyne to play on
Milestone man Michael Walters would love Hayden Ballantyne to play on next season, but first he wants to send out retiring ruckman Aaron Sandilands with a bang.
Emotions are set to be high when Sandilands farewells Dockers fans in Saturday night's AFL clash with Essendon at Optus Stadium..
With Sandilands' future now decided, the attention will shift to Ballantyne, who is out of contract at the end of the season but keen to play on.
Ballantyne has played just two games this season because of hamstring and form issues, but feels he has one or two more seasons left in him.
The 32-year-old faces an uphill battle to earn a new contract at Fremantle, but Walters hopes to see Ballantyne in purple again next season.
"He's a workhorse. He works hard. He's a leader around the footy club," Walters said.
"You run down the race with Hayden and you know what you're going to get.
"You're going to get someone who goes out there and puts his body on the line for his teammates. There's no doubt he's still got that in his head that he can do it (play on). I hope he can."
The futures of Ed Langdon, Brad Hill, and Luke Ryan are also up in the air, with the trio weighing up the prospect of joining rival clubs.
Sandilands will hang up his size 18 boots at the end of the season, and Fremantle players are desperate to get him a win in his final home game.
Walters will celebrate his 150-game milestone this Saturday, but for him the night is all about Sandilands.
"It is emotional. We need to send someone off like that with great effort," Walters said.
"We can't go out there and play silly footy. We need to be fierce at the contest, and hopefully get the win to send him off."
Walters' hopes of even reaching 50 games looked slim when he was sent back to WAFL club Swan Districts in 2012 for substandard fitness levels.
It proved to be the making of Walters, who buckled down and is now one of the most respected leaders at the club.
"I still think about it, especially over the off-season to keep me in good stead," Walters said of his dressing down from coach Ross Lyon.
"I'm one of those players that I look at food and put on some weight.
"At times I do think about it (the punishment) a lot, especially when I'm in Bali with the family chilling out and relaxing."
Walters said he was expecting the Bombers to come out firing following their 104-point loss to the Bulldogs last week.