Archive for January, 2011
Fremantle’s senior players have vowed to push for the ultimate success, with key defender Luke McPharlin declaring the Dockers’ premiership window open as they enter the twilight of their careers.
In a more upbeat assessment of Fremantle’s potential than that given by skipper Matthew Pavlich this week, McPharlin said the Dockers had the ability to make history and win their first flag in “a small window of opportunity over the next few years”.
The East Fremantle product is one of a group of success-starved senior Fremantle players aged 28 and above, including the club’s two most important players in Aaron Sandilands and Pavlich as well as veterans Antoni Grover, Roger Hayden and Adam McPhee.
Retired Docker Des Headland has counselled fallen former teammate Anthony Morabito and tipped a stellar return for the 19-year-old.
“I gave him (Morabito) a call a couple of days after I found out, to see how he was, and he was upbeat and, as much as he was disappointed, he was looking to get his knee better as quickly as possible so he could get back out there next season with the boys,” said Headland, whose 114-game career at Fremantle was wrecked by injuries.
“Paul Hasleby spoke to him as well and he was really grateful that a couple of us older players gave him a call.
“I told him: ‘Look, you’re only young, mate. You’ve got to make sure you go back, do the right rehab, don’t rush yourself too quick too early, because you do it right and you’ve got another 10 or 12 years ahead of you.’
“He’s a good kid, Morabito, and he’ll definitely come out of this a stronger person and a better player as well.”
Morabito was last month ruled out of the Dockers’ season when he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in training.
Fremantle are positioning to make a raid on one of the best 17-year-olds in the country when a rule, which has not applied for 15 years, is reintroduced in October.
The Dockers, who have rapidly rebuilt their team through shrewd draft selections, are believed to be targeting Dongara teenager Jaeger O’Meara when the Greater Western Sydney’s draft concessions come into play later this year.
Under the Giants’ concession guidelines, established clubs can trade them a player in exchange for the right to select a 17-year-old born between January 1 and April 30, 1994. Only four players can be drafted and the clubs will negotiate with the Giants to determine the selection order.
The trades will allow clubs to recruit a player 12 months before he is eligible for the draft.
The rule previously applied when Fremantle entered the competition. Essendon famously hit the jackpot by sending Todd Ridley, Dale Kickett and Tony Delaney to the Dockers so they could recruit Matthew Lloyd with the first pick in the special draft.
Fremantle youngster Joel Houghton has suffered a serious setback in his preparation for the 2011 season, breaking his forearm at training this morning.
The blow continues a bad run of injuries for the Dockers who have already lost Anthony Morabito (knee) and Roger Hayden (foot) for a significant period of next season.
Houghton, in his second year at the club, is likely to be out for six to eight weeks.
The North Ryde Dockers Junior Australian Football Club has been awarded Bronze level accreditation as part of the AFL Quality Club Program.
The AFL Quality Club Program helps community football clubs improve their administrative operations and overall club environment, which ultimately benefits all club participants – whether they are a player, spectator or volunteer.
The program achieves this by providing the opportunity for all clubs throughout NSW and the ACT to benchmark their club operations and administration via a ranking system.
Other benefits of participating in the Quality Club program include:
• Providing an environment which helps attract new participants, officials, members and sponsors, as well as retaining those the club already has;
• Creating a best practice guide for club committees;
• Minimising many risks associated with running a sporting club; and
• Participating in a sport that can continue to promote itself as a leading sport where quality is valued highly.
“To be recognised through the Quality Club program is a fantastic achievement which wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the many officials and volunteers within the club,” said North Ryde Dockers vice-president, Stu Goldfinch.
Michael Barlow’s first year in the AFL was certainly a rollercoaster ride.
Having started the season as a rookie, Barlow was elevated onto Fremantle’s senior list before its round one clash with Adelaide.
And the many Toyota AFL Dream Team coaches certainly took notice, as more than 80 per cent of them snapped up the boy from Shepparton at the bargain-basement price of $105,800.
Barlow rewarded them by picking up 33 possessions, booting two goals and accumulating 126 Dream Team points against the Crows.
He was consistently among Fremantle’s best players during the first 13 matches, averaging almost 110 points per game, including a highest score of 146 against Collingwood at Subiaco in round eight.
This week that team turned out to be the Auburn Tigers which edged the Oregon Ducks in a ripper.
But this isn’t about the games, it’s about the names!
As the games rolled on I actually found myself checking school nicknames on the net simply because they struck me as so pathetic.
For instance there can’t be many Tigers in Alabama! Okay, and Richmond.
As for Ducks. Well, I’m not sure Oregon has got the market cornered.
A few days earlier the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University just pipped the Badgers of Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
The events that have taken place in Queensland this week are absolutely devastating and, as a club, we send our heartfelt thoughts out to the many thousands of people affected by the floods disaster.
Communities have been devastated and many families have lost everything, which is an unbelievably harsh reality to be faced with.
The re-building process for the people of Queensland will be an extensive one and will also come at an enormous cost.
On Sunday, the AFL and all 18 clubs combined to contribute $500,000 to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, however there is more we can do together as a football community.
I encourage all Fremantle staff, players, members and supporters to donate to the appeal, as every generous donation, small or large, counts!
So please, show your purple passion and help make a difference by DONATING NOW.
Please note that at this time, the Queensland Government is inviting financial donations only. Unfortunately this appeal cannot accept donations of goods or services.
Fremantle’s Aaron Sandilands doesn’t expect the AFL’s new interchange rules to impact on specialist ruckmen, but the All Australian is still preparing to spend more time forward in 2011.
With new rules allowing just three interchange players – and one substitute, who can permanently replace a player at any stage of a game – bench rotations are certain to dip this season.
It will likely mean more minutes on the ground for Sandilands, who averaged 88 per cent game time in 2010, but less time in the demanding ruck role.
Easing the load will be former Crow Jon Griffin and third-year ruckman Zac Clarke, who has been a star on the track this pre-season.
“We’ve had ‘Griffo’ come in now [and] Zac Clarke’s taking big steps and training really well, so I can see those guys getting a lot of games this year,” Sandilands said from Fremantle’s training camp in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Head was scholarship listed with the Dockers after an impressive performance in the Joss State Zone Trials at Riverview earlier last year.
But it seems the glad tidings came as a huge surprise to the 195cm key position player who was in the middle of recovery when he found out he is one step closer to playing in the AFL.
“I was actually in the swimming pool doing recovery when they offered me a two-year scholarship with the Dockers. I got out and couldn’t keep the smile off my face – I was so happy,” Head said.
“Heading into the trials I was just hoping to play the best possible football I could, my aim was to be playing for the NSW RAMS and to progress from there, but this was a huge bonus to get offered the scholarship.”