It was the very best of occasions, it was the worst of occasions …
Fremantle’s 2022 September voyage produced the win they wanted, adopted by the loss they needed to have. A painful, potent premiership potion.
Staring right into a 41-point elimination remaining abyss at residence in opposition to a rampaging Western Bulldogs, Freo was frozen in full beam, younger highway kill staring down a Kenworth grille.
They got here again and received surging away – as they did within the remaining spherical once they reeled in a 31-point GWS lead in Sydney – however coach Justin Longmuir doesn’t need it to turn into behavior.
“Now we have been doing loads of work round our begins. We wish to begin quicker and we wish to begin extra bodily,” he stated on the membership’s season launch.
Freo followers will get an early take a look at what meaning once they get the primary huge one out of the best way, a spherical one assembly with St Kilda and former coach Ross Lyon, at Docklands.
Expectations are swirling round this record on the again of a 14 win, seven loss and one draw 2022 season and a 1-1 lead to September, their first finals motion since 2015.
The spotlight within the home-and-away grind was a spherical 11 victory over reigning premier Melbourne, halting the Demons’ 17-game successful streak, which gave delivery to “Flagmantle”. Sorry Dockers, it received’t go away.
Midfielder Andrew Brayshaw received his first Doig Medal, and the AFL’s MVP award, from runner-up defender Brennan Cox, with Caleb Serong and Alex Pearce in a tie for third, thrilling half-back Brandon Walker received the membership’s Beacon Award and was nominated as an AFL Rising Star, together with Heath Chapman and Nathan O’Driscoll.
Serong franked a giant season with baggage of 32, 33 and 34 possessions in his remaining three video games and is now a co vice-captain with Brayshaw beneath the management of Pearce. It’s going to take a mighty effort to knock Brayshaw out of Doig Medal reckoning once more.
The Dockers’ wing partnership of James Aish and Blake Acres has been severed, with the latter transferring to Carlton.
They averaged greater than 40 disposals, 10 marks and 6 inside 50s per sport in 2022.
Ethan Hughes appears to have first dibs, with O’Driscoll, Sam Switkowski, Liam Henry, Neil Erasmus, Matthew Johnson all prone to get their possibilities up discipline.
Will Brodie was a spectacular discover in 2022, protecting the lack of Adam Cerra whereas additionally giving the Dockers inside grunt.
Jordan Clark was one other notable “in”, arriving from Geelong like Brodie on the again of restricted alternative at his earlier membership, and with 8161 metres gained, ranked 55 within the AFL.
Fellow defender Hayden Younger was one other with huge progress and his scything kicks linking the backline to assault will probably be a function of opposition match plans.
Freo had the second-best defence statistically and appears settled with Pearce, Cox, Luke Ryan, Chapman, Clark, Younger and Walker the staples.
On the different finish they have been ranked twelfth for factors scored and with Rory Lobb gone to the Western Bulldogs will lose construction.
Freo will want Matt Taberner to shrug off accidents, Nat Fyfe to construct on the promise he has proven in pre-season, and considered one of Josh Treacy and Jye Amiss have to be within the reckoning for probably the most improved if this ahead line is to sing loud sufficient to threaten.
The membership has misplaced depth, with the versatile Griffin Logue and promising ruck Lloyd Meek becoming a member of Acres, Lobb and Darcy Tucker out the door and Connor Blakely and Joel Western reduce.
The largest exit will probably be David Mundy, retired after 376 video games.
On the proof to date, Jaeger O’Meara may be the very best recruit of all, his poise and aplomb serving to to offset the lack of the intelligent, skilful and skilled Mundy.
A headline we’ll see?
Teething issues for ahead line as Dockers seek for proper attacking combine.
A headline we wish to see?
Dockers head into stand-alone Friday night time Anzac Day weekend season opener 5 and zip and on high of the ladder.