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Finals flop out of Dockers mind
Finals flop out of Dockers' mind

After a grand final performance he describes as "average at best", Fremantle goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne has little choice but to buy into the club's mantra of always looking forward.

But the 26-year-old says if opposition defenders want to remind him about the 15-point loss to Hawthorn next season, there's not much he can do to stop them.

"A bit of friendly banter doesn't hurt anyone," Ballantyne said.

"What's done is done, if we dwell on it now we can't do anything about the future, so we're working towards 2014 and that's what we have our sights set on."

The notoriously chirpy Ballantyne was goalless in last season's decider, missed a number of crucial opportunities and laid only two tackles as the Hawks ran away with the premiership.

It was an individual performance which copped a battering on social media and surely provided some handy fodder to defenders across the AFL.

Speaking at the club's annual golf day yesterday, he said the club had reviewed the decider but chose to concentrate on how to improve for next season rather than go over mistakes it made on the day.

"Everyone wants to play in a grand final, win a grand final and I'm one of them," he said.

"We've got another chance next year, but so do 17 other clubs.

"We're a very driven bunch of players, we know what we want.

"We want to be a great side and we need to improve every week, every training session."

Ballantyne became a father earlier this month with the birth of his daughter Avery.

He said while the lack of sleep meant he had struggled through training at times, the rest of the squad was firing.

"The boys came back in ripping nick and all pretty much reached our targets as far as three kilometres and time trials go and skin folds, so the boys are looking good," he said.

Defensive forward Matt de Boer is one player who has impressed on the track, posting a vastly improved 3km time trial, while new recruit Colin Sylvia has yet to join the main group.

"He's working through some fitness stuff … but obviously he's a very skilled player and he'll contribute really well for us," Ballantyne said.

·The AFL has moved to crack down on players trying to draw high contact under new rules announced yesterday.

Under the new rule, players who drive their heads into an opposition player will not be paid a free kick for high contact and will be deemed to have had prior opportunity.

From next season, players will also be charged with rough conduct if they initiate a bump resulting in a head clash and a free kick will be paid for sliding regardless if there is contact.