Perfect timing for Freo
Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe concedes this week’s bye has come at the perfect time for the injury-hit team, as coach Mark Harvey prepares to welcome back several key players in time for a difficult run home.
Nick Suban and Adam McPhee will push for selection shortly after the bye, with key midfielder Michael Barlow expected to face the Sydney Swans at the SCG in round 17.
Fyfe, who has been a star for Fremantle in his second AFL season, said getting key players back and freshening up mentally and physically over the bye would be crucial in the tough home stretch.
“At the start of the season when we had the bye we probably didn’t really need it, but now the bodies are a little bit sorer and the minds need refreshing, so it’s really important to get it now,” he said.
“Last time when we had the bye we lost the week after, but this week it’s a little bit different – we’ve got a little bit more training to do and I think we’re training on the weekend.
“When we start getting some of those injured players back it’s going to put a lot of pressure on at selection, which is great for the team.”
Fremantle faces four of the competition’s top five teams in its last eight matches, needing at least three and possibly four wins to secure a finals berth for the second year running.
The sixth-placed side also confronts three trips to Etihad Stadium, to face St Kilda, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
“I haven’t had a look too far ahead, but there’s no easy games in the AFL anymore and we know that,” Fyfe said.
“Every win is really important. I just know that we’ve got to beat Sydney next week and try our hardest for the rest of the season. We can only really control the games as we play them.”
Fyfe, who has spent time as a midfielder and a half-forward this season, has been Fremantle’s leading contested possession winner, and he has utilised his strong marking ability to sit fifth in the competition for contested grabs.
The 19-year-old said he was enjoying playing on a wing and in the midfield, but he was capable of playing key forward roles if needed, having added 14kg to his now 190cm frame since joining the club.
“I don’t think you can really pin me down to one position,” he said.
“I know ‘Harves’ likes to have a bit of versatility in his players, and I like going wherever.
“Last year I played a lot forward and it’s good to go back there and stand up alongside ‘Pav’ (Matthew Pavlich). At the moment I’m enjoying playing up on the wing and in the midfield.”