Archive for November, 2010
Fremantle believe they could be headed towards a record membership in 2011 after having to send several thousand renewals to the AFL for help in processing them.
The Dockers membership, coming off a promising season in which the club finished sixth on the ladder, is already climbing to 30,000 with priority renewals set to close today. Chief executive Steve Rosich said the club was “tracking” towards the 2007 record.
It is understood the club is about 3000 ahead of the same time last year and it was forced to call on the AFL’s resources to help process membership renewals because staff could not keep pace with demand.
“Tomorrow is the final day for our priority renewal period – for members that have a reserved seat membership,” Rosich said.
Former Collingwood-listed WA youngster Jarrad Blight will attempt to revive his career with a spot on the Fremantle rookie list.
Recruited from Swan Districts in the 2008 national draft, Blight did not manage a game at the senior level with the Magpies. Wavering VFL form and a few injuries led the AFL premiers to delist the 19-year-old at the end of last season.
Fremantle will have two rookie-list positions open after promising to re-draft delisted players Tim Ruffles and Ben Bucovaz. Competing with Blight for one of those positions will be injury-prone Docker Brock O’Brien and overlooked East Fremantle colts Justin Monaco and Sam Menagola.
Fremantle will cast its eye over tall running machine and self-proclaimed West Coast fan Sam Menagola, after the youngster was given permission to train with the club by the AFL.
Menagola starred for the East Fremantle colts premiership-winning team this year, kicking 46 goals for the Sharks.
The 188cm, 79kg tall forward hit the headlines at a recent state screening session in Perth leading up to the national draft, when he recorded a score of 15.6 in the beep test to show off his incredible endurance. The level fell just short of the national record.
Menagola feels he most resembles St Kilda midfielder Lenny Hayes and says his biggest strength is his running ability.
“I am constructive with the ball by hand and foot,” he told the AFL website. “I am a good mark both on the lead and contested or pack marking. I consider myself to be a smart footballer who is very coachable and dedicated.”
Fremantle’s heave-ho theme song could soon become the latest victim of the Dockers re-branding.
The maligned tune is under review at the club, which has already changed its playing strip for 2011.
Hear the Dockers current theme song here.
Dockers chief executive Steve Rosich said the club was exploring alternatives to the tune as part of an extensive review process.
“Under AFL intellectual property guidelines, it’s going to be something that we’ll look at during 2011 and we’ll only consider a change from 2012,” Rosich said yesterday.
With a pocket of supporters still protesting against Fremantle’s jumper and logo overhaul, chief executive Steve Rosich has confirmed the club song will be reviewed through the 2011 season.
Disgruntled Fremantle supporters marched to the club’s annual members meeting last week to vent their frustration at the new jumper and logo, both of which have dropped the colours red and green.
Rosich said a review process for the club’s song, which has always been contentious, would be communicated to members in the March issue of the club’s Docker magazine.
“Under AFL intellectual property guidelines, it’s going to be something that we’ll look at during 2011 and we’ll only consider a change from 2012,” Rosich said on Monday, announcing a new partnership with WA health fund HBF.
“We’ll be looking at alternatives and that will be communicated to members in the March Docker.
“As we committed to in 2008 we wanted to look at all of our brand elements. The song wasn’t part of the very pleasing arrangement we were able to strike with Levi Strauss, so we’ll look at that in 2011.”
Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands were two of the big names back at Fremantle Oval as Fremantle’s full squad returned for pre-season training.
Pavlich looked fit as he ran sprints and Sandilands participated in a variety of drills.
Other experienced stars including Luke McPharlin and Antoni Grover ran 3km time trials.
Ryan Crowley excelled in the time trial and ruckman Jonathon Griffin was another to impress.
New recruit Viv Michie was also on show in the searing heat as Fremantle’s preparation for 2011 continued.
Having been drafted at 22 and 24, Fremantle’s latest mature-age acquisitions could not have landed at a better club.
With first-year sensation Michael Barlow as the ultimate role model, Peter Faulks and Tendai Mzungu believe the sky is the limit.
The pair landed at the Dockers after trade week deals between Fremantle and the Gold Coast and are considered realistic chances to debut in Round 1, against Brisbane at the Gabba.
The athletic Faulks could find himself part of Freo’s first-choice defensive set-up following the departure of Chris Tarrant.
He was recruited from the VFL having spent 2007-08 on Sydney’s list without playing an AFL game.
He teamed up with defender Alex Silvagni for the Casey Scorpions in 2009 before moving to Williamstown. The pair could find themselves battling for the same position at Fremantle.
Faulks never gave up on his AFL dream despite his injury-troubled stint under Paul Roos and believes he is a far superior player now due to increased powers of concentration and mental strength.
Hayden Ballantyne will always be a bull at a gate.
But wisdom and injuries have taught him to be more careful about which gates he charges.
In the final stages of rehabilitation from the broken bone in his foot sustained in Fremantle’s round 22 match against Carlton, Ballantyne knows he is going to have to throttle back at times to make sure he doesn’t become a player who is all too frequently injured.
The broken bone had been Ballantyne’s second foot injury late in the 2010 season.
He felt it go in the first quarter against the Blues, played on and ended up missing Fremantle’s two finals.
“I went to push off it and felt it give way, just go pop,” he said.
“It was pretty shattering missing finals when it was the first finals the club has played in a couple of years.
Fremantle teenager Anthony Morabito wants to add a dimension to his game by developing the capacity to play as a forward.
Morabito, who turned 19 last month, is taking off-season tutelage from skipper Matthew Pavlich in a bid to make himself a more dangerous player next season.
“I was really comfortable at AFL level running with the play,” Morabito said yesterday.
“This year I want to try to develop the play coming to me as a forward. I am going to try to work a bit more with Pav who is pretty good at both – All-Australian in both positions.
“I want to take my fitness to another level, improve my game running with the ball but also add another string to my bow by being able to play forward.”
Morabito admitted he surprised himself by playing 23 games last year, but is not getting carried away with his first season.
Fremantle young gun Nat Fyfe kept himself fit during his off-season break back home in Lake Grace after being given the keys to his old football club in the South-East WA town.
Fyfe, 19, said he was keen to return to Fremantle in good shape when 2011 pre-season training kicked off on 15 November so he took up the opportunity to train at his old stomping ground.
“I did a bit of weights at the gym and went for a few runs around town,” Fyfe said.
Fyfe, who had an impressive debut season in 2010 playing mainly as a forward, is keen to be given a crack at playing midfield in 2011.
“All my younger years I’ve been a midfielder and I enjoyed having a stint in the midfield last season up on a wing,” Fyfe said.
“Hopefully I get a chance to play there again and be versatile enough to go forward and kick a few goals.”