Clarke on the rise
Another player to show a sharp spike in form is Fremantle’s spindly ruckman cum midfielder Zac Clarke.
Clarke played a total of eight mathes in his first two seasons with Freo. In this his third season with the club, he spent the early part of the season with East Perth before earning his call-up to the AFL team in round 11.
In his first few weeks with Fremantle Clarke had an average of two marks a match. In the past three matches, he’s had had an average of seven marks a game.
Clarke’s 12 marks in the abject loss to North Melbourne on Saturday was clearly the best tally of his career; his next best was last week’s five.
His 24 disposals were also clearly his best outing.
Clarke’s game was all the more meritorious because Aaron Sandilands returned to the team, leaving less scope for picking up possessions in ruck contests.
At 203cm, Clarke is certainly tall enough to be a ruckman, but he’s played his best footy so far as a running midfielder who takes the occasional knock.
In a difficult season for Fremantle, his rise has provided a rare shaft of light.