Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich vows Dockers will keep blooding youth
Fremantle has told new coach Ross Lyon it wants to continue its recent philosophy of blooding youth, despite Lyon’s reputation for a reluctance to “play kids” in his time at St Kilda.
Lyon handed debuts to nine players this year after St Kilda’s poor start to the season, but most of his time at the club was marked by his unstinting faith in senior players.
Dockers CEO Steve Rosich pledged yesterday the club would retain its conviction in bringing through young players, despite the likelihood of a dearth of early-round picks in the national draft if Fremantle secures Brisbane forward Mitch Clark.
“The philosophy will continue,” Rosich said. “We need to continue to recruit and develop and train and play young talented players. We’ll continue to see young players get an opportunity to play for us under Ross.
“That’s been part of the chats we’ve had, but what we’re delighted with is we’ve got someone that we think fits with us culturally, who’s clearly proven, experienced and capable.”
Rosich said Lyon’s ability would enable him to adapt his St Kilda game style and football philosophies to the Freo players and the unique dimensions of their home ground.
“We’re very comfortable that he’s got the attributes to identify what’s the appropriate game style for our list and for our circumstances playing mainly at Patersons Stadium,” Rosich said.
“That’s clearly the work that needs to be done by Ross and the match committee over the pre-season.”
The AFL is likely to schedule two prime-time, regular-season matches between the Dockers and Saints next season to take advantage of the huge interest that will surround Lyon coaching against the players he led in three heartbreaking Grand Finals in 2009 and 2010 (a draw and a loss that year).
Rosich stopped short of confirming captain Matthew Pavlich would remain as skipper.
“That’s something that we’ll work through again in the pre-season in normal course,” he said.
Lyon refused to give a detailed assessment of the new list, but indicated he believed it held promise.