Docker learns lessons from failure
Fremantle recruit Peter Faulks is set to capitalise on his second crack at AFL level, according to his former VFL coach Peter German.
German said Faulks, who was pre-listed by Gold Coast and traded to the Dockers for pick No. 55, was ready-made to replace Chris Tarrant, despite failing to break through as a Swans rookie three years ago.
”When he was at Sydney, I don’t think he fully understood the commitment and what it really took to be an AFL player,” German said.
”He got a bit homesick and when he came back, I just grabbed him and said, ‘What are you doing?’ He wasn’t sure so I told him to come out to Casey. Our whole focus was to get him back into the system and working on areas of his game that he really needed to improve on.”
German, who also coached Faulks as a junior at Oak Park, was coach of the dominant defender at Casey in 2009 and then at Williamstown last season, where he excelled and was named in the VFL Team of the Year.
The 22-year-old is lightly framed but can match it with the bigger bodies in the air. It was rare for a VFL forward to get the better of him.
”He came with me to Williamstown and the closer proximity and the program we had in place really helped him physically,” German said. ”He really had the desire to get back into the system.
”He’s just a great competitor. He’s a sheer defender – he hates getting beaten.”
The Dockers, who enjoyed stunning success by snaring Michael Barlow and Alex Silvagni as mature-age rookies from the VFL last season, believe Faulks will slot into a regular role in defence after Tarrant quit to return to Collingwood.
”They were probably a tall defender short and I know [Dockers recruiting manager] Brad Lloyd liked what he saw over the last couple of years. He will fit in really well there,” German said.