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UFC | The Alex Pearce Story
Alex Pearce, son of Scott & Karen Pearce, big brother to Georgia Pearce, was born 9th June 1995 in Ulverstone. His primary school and high school days in Ulverstone were spent mostly playing cricket and football and dominating school athletics carnivals.
Alex officially started his love affair with the oval ball back in 2002 when he signed up for the local Ulverstone Robins Auskick Program. He progressed through the junior ranks, playing under 14s, under 18s, under 19s, and then eventually debuting for the Robins Senior team on May 11th, 2012 against reigning premiers Latrobe. Also, during 2012, Alex was selected as an over-age player for the Tasmanian Under 16 Stateside. His performance in the carnival was enough to attract some early interest from various AFL scouts & player managers.
In 2013 Alex signed up with State League club and neighbouring town the Devonport Magpies and continued to play senior football there as a key forward, whilst also playing with the Tasmanian Under 18 team. It was in the National Carnival where Alex solidified his chances of being drafted with many eye-catching performances both as a key forward and key defender. Later in the year during the AFL Draft Combine, Alex recorded the 3rd best beep test score and 8th best 3km time trial score which had AFL club scouts drooling given Alex’s height at 200cms.
Following various phone calls from clubs and player managers, Alex was becoming quietly optimistic of his draft chances at the end of the year but in true Alex Pearce style, he remained calm, hopeful and modest in the lead up to draft night on Thursday 21st November.
Gathering around the TV at the family home in Lakin Street Ulverstone, the Pearce family and a few close friends waited with much nervousness and anticipation. At pick 37, the Fremantle Football Club picked Alex, and what followed was an explosion of excitement, emotion and celebration which continued well into the weekend by some of Alex’s close friends and family members.
Alex settled into his new Western Australian life reasonably well with his host family, but his body struggled to cope with the demands of a full AFL preseason as he struggled to find the right balance of work and training loads with his growing body. With a few minor injury setbacks, Alex spent most of 2014 playing as a key defender for Peel Thunder (Fremantle’s reserves team) in the WAFL while getting his body better prepared for the rigours of senior AFL football.
After another preseason and some early games for Peel Thunder, Alex made his debut for Fremantle in Round 6 2015 against Essendon, coincidentally on Mother’s Day weekend where the family flew over to watch the momentous occasion. He went on to play 13 games that season and took home the club’s Beacon Award for the best young player.
In 2016 Alex played another 8 games before fracturing his tibia against Richmond in round 9, which began a long stretch in the rehab group, with further setbacks including a second leg break in the 2017 pre-season which eventually kept him off the training park for an incredible 560 days. Alex’s determination and courage during this period had such a huge impact on his teammates that he was elevated to the club’s leadership group in early 2018. Alex returned to the playing field in Round 1 against Port Adelaide, some 672 days after his last AFL game. Pearce went on to play 21 games out of a possible 22 during 2018 and began to catch the eye of the football world.
Alex continued his remarkable comeback in 2019 and brought up game number 50 against Richmond in round 8. After a string of strong performances, many football pundits and commentators had Alex firmly in All-Australian contention. However, in Round 11 against Collingwood, in what appeared to a rather innocuous incident after clearing the ball from the backline, Alex fractured another bone in his other leg, this time his left foot, which ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
After making slow but steady progress in the rehab group during the latter part of 2019, Alex suffered another minor setback in early December 2019 requiring further minor surgery to his left ankle to assist with the final stage of the fracture healing process but remains hopeful of still playing round 1 in 2020.
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