Dustin Fletcher’s son Mason training with Essendon
ESSENDON has a Dustin Fletcher “clone” waiting in the wings, with the 400-gamer’s son Mason rapidly developing his game as he enters his final season of under-age football.
Mason is spending this month training with the Bombers, who have shown early interest in selecting him as a father-son pick at November’s national draft.
The 17-year-old stands 197cm, 1cm shorter than his famous father, and has a similarly lean frame.
The only noticeable difference between the two is the younger Fletcher’s flowing orange mop of hair.
Andrew Johnston, Mason’s TAC Cup coach at Calder Cannons last year, said there were clear similarities between father and son, right down to Mason’s love of kicking a long torpedo.
“He really is a clone of his dad. He just looks like him physically and runs around like him,” Johnston said.
“He’s really able to drop off his man and read the play and spoil and mark the ball.
“He has a crack at doing the prodigious torpedo punts, too. He does like to do them and has a crack at them sometimes, but he’s just got to keep practising them and I’m sure he’ll get them.”
Mason played 10 games in the TAC Cup in his bottom-age year last season, spending most of his time at full-back, and also played school football for Penleigh and Essendon Grammar.
Johnston said that while matching his father’s 400 AFL games might be a stretch, the early signs suggested Mason could carve out a successful career.
“The game’s probably changed a little bit since his old man came through,” Johnston said.
“He’s got the pedigree to really make it at that level.
“He’s just got to keep developing and keep improving, but he’s certainly got the qualities and the attitude to make it.”
Mason would be the third generation of his family to represent the Bombers.
Grandfather Ken Fletcher played 264 games for the club from 1967-1980.
The Cannons have another father-son prospect this year in Rhylee West, son of seven-time Western Bulldogs best-and-fairest winner Scott.