Archive for July, 2011
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has lamented his players’ inability to stick to team structures after a disappointing 51-point loss to Hawthorn on Saturday night saw the side’s finals chances plunge.
In difficult conditions at Patersons Stadium, Fremantle conceded the first eight goals of the game and never recovered, with Essendon and North Melbourne now pushing to replace the eighth-placed side in the finals mix.
Harvey described the morale-sapping loss as “a bad day all round” and said his team paid the price for some players not sticking to structures.
“We never moved the ball well at all and we played into their hands,” the coach said on Saturday night.
“It was Hawthorn’s pressure and our inability to be able to get out of trouble or make sure that we were balanced ahead of the play to make it more of a contest.
“Some of our players didn’t play to structure and so we all paid the penalty for that.”
Fremantle 0.2 2.3 2.4 6.8 (44)
Hawthorn 6.3 8.8 11.16 13.17 (95)
Fremantle: Pavlich, Crowley, Clarke, Ballantyne, McPhee, Fyfe
Hawthorn: Hale 3, Mitchell 2, Rioli 2, Osborne, Smith, Breust, Ellis, Suckling, Birchall
Fremantle: Silvagni, Pavlich, Fyfe, Broughton
Hawthorn: Sewell, Mitchell, Lewis, Puopolo, Birchall, Smith, Hale
Fremantle: Jonathan Griffin (hip) replaced in selected side by Clancee Pearce, Matt de Boer (knee), Rhys Palmer (ankle)
Hawthorn: Luke Hodge (knee) replaced in selected side Rick Ladson
Fremantle: Matt de Boer replaced by Clancee Pearce in the third quarter.
Hawthorn: Xavier Ellis replaced by Rick Ladson at three-quarter-time.
Umpires: Farmer, Stevic, Findlay
Official crowd: 30,937 at Patersons Stadium
Jack Anthony and Peter Faulks have each faced their challenges since arriving at Fremantle late last year, but the WAFL bookends appear to be discovering their best form at the same time.
Anthony, who has managed one senior game this season since crossing from Collingwood, was named Fremantle’s WAFL player of the round for his four-goal performance against Swan Districts.
It was the 23-year-old’s most productive performance this year and assistant coach Simon Lloyd said the key forward was building in confidence.
“He’s changed his style of game and has really been thinking about his football,” Lloyd said.
“He’s also playing a lot higher, which means he’s a lot more involved in the contest. If he’s not winning his own football it’s a lot easier to influence the contest and apply some pressure.
“That’s something that has definitely changed in his game and if he continues in that form he will definitely be looked at [for senior selection].”
Luke McPharlin is out because of a one-match ban courtesy of the tribunal, while Nick Suban misses with soreness after one game back in the senior side.
Fremantle assistant coach Todd Curley said Anthony had earned his spot back in the side through strong form in the WAFL.
“He was really good last week for Subiaco, playing his most complete game for the year,” Curley said.
“He comes in with some good form behind him which should help him on Saturday.”
Curley said that, while Anthony kicked goals last week, it was also his overall team contribution that was pleasing.
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey is confident that ruckman Jon Griffin will be available to take on Hawthorn this Saturday night, softening the continued absence of star big man Aaron Sandilands.
Sandilands and key clearance player David Mundy have been ruled out of the finals-shaping clash at Patersons Stadium, with defender Luke McPharlin also missing through suspension.
Griffin, however, has been cleared of serious damage after being subbed out of last Sunday’s classic Western Derby with a left hip complaint.
After losing to West Coast by one point, Harvey said Fremantle’s season would be on the line every week, but the club could still not afford to rush its two most recent club champions back on Saturday night.
“I’d like to think it’s the week after but it might be the week after that,” Harvey said from Fremantle Oval on Wednesday.
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says he can see similarities between young star Nat Fyfe, who extended his contract with the club on Wednesday, and Essendon champion James Hird.
Fremantle continued its enviable recent record of securing key players by extending Fyfe’s contract to the end of 2014, with the 19-year-old enjoying an outstanding year.
Fyfe is in contention for All Australian selection in just his second season and he is considered the frontrunner, alongside defender Luke McPharlin, to win Fremantle’s best and fairest award, the Doig Medal.
Harvey, who played alongside Hird in the 1993 Essendon premiership and mentored the current Bombers coach as an assistant at Windy Hill, said there were similarities between his prized youngster Fyfe and the recent Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee.
“Hird probably played a lot in his first couple of years across centre half-forward and Nathan’s been more across the wing, centre line, but the way he moves and the way he thinks through the game, there’s a lot in common,” Harvey said from Fremantle Oval on Wednesday.
Fremantle young gun Nat Fyfe has agreed to a contract extension that will see him commit to the club through to the end of the 2014 season.
General manager of player management Brad Lloyd confirmed today that the 19-year-old, who was originally contracted through to the end of the 2012 season, had agreed to a two-year contract extension.
“We regard Nat very highly both as a person and a player, and we are delighted that he has shown such a commitment to the club,” Lloyd said.
“Nat has had an outstanding start to his AFL career and we see him as being very much a part of the long-term future of the Fremantle Dockers.”
Recruited from WAFL club Claremont, Fyfe was Fremantle’s round two selection (pick 20 overall) in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft.
Originally from Lake Grace, 347kms south-east of Perth, he made his debut in round five, 2010 against Richmond and earned a NAB Rising Star nomination later that season after gathering 23 disposals in Fremantle’s win over the Sydney Swans at the SCG in round nine.
Fyfe has played 34 career games and kicked 28 goals.
It has been quite a rocky road with more than its fair share of challenges, but Fremantle utility Adam McPhee believes it has made his impending milestone even more satisfying.
The experienced 28-year-old will play his 200th AFL match this Saturday night against Hawthorn at Patersons Stadium, in what will be another must-win game for the Dockers if they are to keep their fellow finals aspirants at bay.
McPhee began his career with Fremantle in 2001 before moving to Essendon two years later.
He set up camp at Windy Hill for seven seasons and in that time won not only the club’s best-and-fairest award in 2004, but in the same year also snared All-Australian honours and a spot in the Australian international rules team.
After 142 games and 83 goals for the Bombers, McPhee decided to head back to WA and rejoin the Dockers.
Greg Broughton admits he initially thought Hayden Ballantyne’s drop punt on goal after the siren would sail through and secure a stunning come-from-behind victory for Fremantle.
The Dockers midfielder was standing just 30m out from the goal line at Patersons Stadium and had an ideal view as he watched Ballantyne’s set shot from beyond 50m out in the left pocket, fly towards home.
Ballantyne had earned the chance after umpire Dean Margetts chose to penalise West Coast’s Matt Rosa for deliberately knocking the ball out of bounds.
The kick initially appeared on target, but faded late and struck the right goal post to leave Fremantle one point shy in a western derby classic.
“As he hit it, I thought it was a good chance, but it fell short,” Broughton said. “It was pretty disappointing. It definitely came very close. If it was early on in the game, he probably would’ve kicked it.
“Nine times out of 10, he’d kick them.”
Jaeger O’Meara’s performances for Western Australia at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships won him rave reviews from AFL recruiters and the level of interest in the precocious 17-year-old is set to skyrocket in the coming months.
O’Meara has nominated for consideration under the Greater Western Sydney trade incentive scheme that will allow him to join an AFL club later this year despite being too young to be included in the talent pool for the 2011 NAB AFL Draft.
AFL clubs will have the opportunity to offer draft picks, players or both for one of four special selections that can then be used on eligible players born between January and April, 1994, and the bidding process will be heated.
West Coast and Fremantle covet the elite skills of the speedy forward/midfielder, but several other clubs from outside O’Meara’s home state are seriously considering what, or perhaps more significantly ‘who’, they will be prepared to give up for the gifted game changer.
“We’ll see what happens. It would definitely be a great opportunity,” O’Meara says of his chance to get a head start on an AFL career.