Archive for December, 2010
Up to four players could play their first games for Fremantle when the Dockers take on Brisbane at the Gabba in Round 1.
Former Collingwood forward Jack Anthony and ex-Adelaide ruckman Jon Griffin could pull on the purple for the first time, while mature-age recruits Peter Faulks and Tendai Mzungu will also hope to use NAB Cup form to push for AFL debuts in Round 1.
Despite the summer inclusions, the Dockers’ team to start 2011 is likely to closely resemble the outfit that bowed out of the finals with a 69-point hiding from Geelong in the second semi-final after a season of stunning improvement.
Snapshot: After a heavy running program in 2009 and a focus on strength and contested football in 2010, sports science manager Jason Weber’s third pre-season in charge appears more balanced. There has been a focus on skills and ball-movement drills from early in the piece, with the club’s draftees being carefully managed.
Medical room: The first phase of pre-season training has been cruel to Fremantle with Roger Hayden (foot) and Anthony Morabito (knee) the big casualties. Hayden will miss the first half of next season, while Morabito’s 2011 is already over after undergoing a full knee reconstruction. Michael Barlow has recently lifted his running quota and expect the young star to take bigger strides after the Christmas break.
Who’s burning: Rhys Palmer set the early pace with a winning time of 10min 35sec in the club’s opening 3km time trial. The two players he narrowly beat to the line – WAFL recruit Tendai Mzungu and promising youngster Nat Fyfe – have also impressed after working particularly hard during their time off. Fyfe has added muscle after using his junior football club’s gym while home in Lake Grace.
A new breed of Dockers supporters comes out from the woodwork in light of Fremantle’s breakthrough season.
They’re coming. Everyone get inside and lock your doors.
Every sports fan loathes them, with some declaring them to be the lowest of the low.
You know who I’m talking about. The bandwagon supporters. The fairweather fans.
When your team is on the cusp of success and even greatness, you can start to feel some creaking underneath.
Fremantle’s Michael Barlow’s manager has dismissed claims that he has suffered a setback as he recovers from a broken leg.
Accredited player agent Marty Pask yesterday denied reports circulated on an online sports website on Tuesday that Barlow’s broken bones were healing slower than expected.
The 22-year-old had a metal plate inserted after he was injured in the round 14 clash against Port Adelaide when teammate Rhys Palmer crashed into his left leg in a marking contest.
Online reports claimed a medical assessment by the on-baller’s orthopaedic surgeon said further surgery may be necessary.
But Pask, a former AFL player with Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs, said there was no truth to the claims. He said Barlow was on track with his recovery.
“I don’t know where they came from, to be honest,” Pask said.
When West Coast won the 1992 premiership, it was quite literally a victory for WA over Victoria, with the entire 20-man Eagles’ team coming from west of the Nullarbor.
Those premiership stars were the cream of their WAFL generation in an age where draft science and national recruiting networks were only in their infancy.
Eighteen of Fremantle’s inaugural side that lost to Richmond by five points in Round 1, 1995, were West Australian, with Northern Territory recruits Scott Chisholm and the late Gary Dhurrkay and South Australian forward Chris Groom the exceptions.
But going into their 17th season in the AFL in 2011, for the first time the Dockers’ squad won’t be made up of a majority of West Australians.
Fremantle midfield star Michael Barlow has suffered a setback in his bold bid to resume playing in the AFL opening round of next season.
Barlow is understood to have received a disappointing medical report on his recovering broken left leg from his orthopaedic surgeon Michael Wren.
The 2010 first-year sensation is due to have a 30cm metal plate running down the inside of his lower leg removed later this month.
Dockers management and medical staff continue to remain set on nursing their vital long term blue-chip midfielder without a definite planned resumption date.
Fremantle Dockers’ recruit Jayden Pitt has won the honour to wear the cherished No. 4 jumper number of club great Paul Hasleby.
The recently retired Hasleby, whose 208-game AFL career included the 2000 AFL Rising Star Award and four Ross Glendinning medals, passed on his jumper number to Pitt today.
Hasleby said Pitt, who was Fremantle’s first selection (pick No. 20) in last month’s AFL National Draft, would “do the number proud”.
“A lot of blood, sweat and tears has gone into trying to do my best (for Fremantle) in the number four,” he said.
“It’s a nice bit of closure to your career when you get to pass it down. A new chapter is about to be born and it’s now up to Jayden to take the number forward and make a name for himself.”
Fremantle Dockers midfielder Anthony Morabito is likely to miss the 2011 season after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament at training this morning.
“It appears to be just an unfortunate incident, not as a result of a collision,” said general manager of football operations Chris Bond.
“At the present time all of our efforts are focused on Anthony’s well-being.”
Former Fremantle utility player Scott Thornton has made a stunning sports transformation and will tomorrow make his first-grade bowling debut for Claremont-Nedlands Cricket Club.
Thornton played 88 games for the Dockers throughout an injury plagued 10-year career.
A broken leg stopped him from playing any games in 2010 and he decided to enjoy a summer of cricket before playing for South Fremantle in the WAFL next season.
Claremont-Nedlands treasurer Kyle Hookey is Thornton’s girlfriend’s brother, so the 28-year-old, who represented Victoria as a paceman when a teenager, went to training to see if he could get a game.