Archive for November, 2011
Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich says coach Ross Lyon’s hard-line approach has the majority of the list fitter at this stage of the pre-season than ever before.
Pavlich, 29, said Lyon had implemented “different philosophies” developed in previous roles at St Kilda and the Sydney Swans, and demanded dedication from his players over their summer break.
“He asked for extraordinary effort and to live every moment as if it’s our last,” Pavlich said on Wednesday.
“He holds everyone in the footy department to account and he outwardly expresses that to you guys (the media) and the public, and he does the same in our four walls at the footy club.
“All of the players were given pretty clear indications of where they needed to get from Ross and the strength and conditioning guys, and there were some high expectations of how we presented back off the break.
The Fremantle Dockers invite all their members and supporters to the 2011 Christmas Party at Fremantle Oval this Saturday 3 December.
Join the players for a fun-filled afternoon to celebrate the festive season.
All junior members are invited to participate in a giant footy clinic with the players, including KidZone’s Hayden Ballantyne and his teammates. Gates open at 4.00pm before the footy clinic gets underway at 4.30pm sharp.
You can then pull up a picnic blanket and get your singing voices tuned for a fabulous night of carols, a great opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Christmas with family and friends and celebrate the festive season with the Fremantle Dockers.
Then get ready to light the sky with a fantastic fireworks display!
Gold coin donation entry proudly supports the Fremantle Dockers’ Community Goals.
Former St Kilda defender Zac Dawson, who has moved to Perth with the hope of starting a new career with the Fremantle Dockers, says his best football is ahead of him.
“As a slow maturer, my body is starting to fill out now and I’m quite confident the next two or three years will be my best footy,” he said from Fremantle Oval on Tuesday.
During 2011, the 25-year-old, who played in 77 games for the Saints including three Grand Finals, had been identified by Fremantle recruiters as a possible pick up in the NAB Pre-Season Draft, which will be held on 13 December.
Dawson said a phone call from his former coach Ross Lyon helped convince him to pack his bags and head out West.
“Ross and I have had a pretty good relationship throughout my career – he gave me another chance at St Kilda,” Dawson said of being rookie-listed by the Saints in 2008 after Hawthorn had delisted him in 2006.
“He gave me a call and said ‘are you willing to move across to Fremantle?’.
While Fremantle unveiled their new AFL draftees on Monday, the focus was more on the training track as former Hawthorn and St Kilda defender Zac Dawson took another step closer to becoming a Docker.
Dawson, who has played 77 games in the top tier, was told at the end of this season that there was no room for him at the Saints, where he played in losing grand final teams in 2009 and 2010.
Former St Kilda coach and new Fremantle boss Ross Lyon is a big admirer of the 25-year-old fullback and taking him in next month’s pre-season draft on December 13 is near certain.
Fremantle’s senior development coach Simon Lloyd is hopeful the move will progress smoothly and he can make a big impact in the west.
“There’s no guarantees, but Zac wants to be a Fremantle player. His girlfriend is looking for work here and he is settling, so we’ll see,” Lloyd said.
“As that tall type of defender, he was part of our list-management strategy and obviously Ross has a fair window of knowledge into Zac Dawson.
“It’s something that hopefully will come to fruition in the coming weeks. Hopefully he ends up a Dockers player.”
Fremantle unveiled the newest five members of its squad at Fremantle headquarters today, with the club’s 2012 draftees joining senior development/assistant coach Simon Lloyd in a media conference.
The three South Australian and two Victorian youngsters, who all now call WA home, handled the cameras and the questions with confidence and understated poise.
Victorian Tom Sheridan, the 16th pick in the National Draft, said he was honoured to be a Fremantle Docker.
“It’s a great club,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get on the track and start training.
“It’s a dream come true to get on a list and come to such a good club.”
Sheridan’s father, Brian, was on Essendon’s list when he was a teenager, but his career was cut short after he broke both his legs in a car accident.
“He went back but the surgeon said any more knocks and he’d be crippled by the time he was 40 or 50.
“It’s an inspirational story for me.”
Fremantle’s first pick yesterday, Tom Sheridan, nearly escaped the TAC Cup talent net.
Living at Riddells Creek, on the very north-western tip of Melbourne’s metropolitan area and hence the very north-western tip of the Calder Cannons zone, Sheridan had been overlooked in their 14s and 15s squads.
But one trial match at under-15s level changed all that, as the Cannons’ development manager Len Villani explained yesterday.
“Tommy is a good story,” he said. “He comes from a unique pathway, initially anyway.
“He was overlooked as a 14 or 15-year-old and we have a game where we look at the best of the rest, if you like, in the under-15s.
“We got a bit of a whisper about a kid from Riddells Creek and we played him in this game and he was just an absolute standout.
“We ended up bringing him into our playing squad and from there the rest is history now.”
Fremantle will replenish its limited stocks of key position players in next year’s looming super draft after taking a calculated gamble by overlooking talls in Thursday’s national draft.
The Dockers believe the move of skipper Matthew Pavlich to full-forward and the expected arrival of former St Kilda backman Zac Dawson through next month’s pre-season draft will ensure there is enough cover at both ends of the ground for 2012.
The club will then launch a raid on young key-position talent in next year’s national draft, which recruiters already believe will be the strongest of the past decade.
Rhys Palmer has detailed the relationship breakdown with former Fremantle coach Mark Harvey that pushed him to accept a lucrative offer from the AFL’s fledgling club, Greater Western Sydney.
Palmer, now settled into the Giants’ plush new surrounds at Breakfast Point, said his frustration grew to breaking point, with communication lines disappearing as he battled to win his way back into the Dockers team last season.
He said his 2008 NAB Rising Star award and starring western derby role in just his second AFL game that year were now distant memories and he would take his place with the Giants with plenty to prove.
Palmer told thewest.com.au that after winning 24 possessions in a round-23 loss to Collingwood last season he was treating Fremantle’s final game for the season against the Western Bulldogs as the match which could rekindle his fire.
But an untimely 6cm tear to an adductor at training on the Wednesday before the game ruined that chance.
As Matthew Pavlich edges closer to his twilight years, Fremantle will eventually need to turn their recruiting minds to a replacement for the skipper. Not this year, though. The Dockers answered the question of whether their midfield had sufficient depth to carry out Ross Lyon’s game plan with a resounding no. They drafted midfielders with all five of their picks, overlooking WA key forward Shane Kersten at no.16 in the process. That quartet will take time but if most of them come on, Fremantle will have a running brigade the envy of the league in a couple of years.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will continue to stand strong against criticism of his past record with young players as he embraced five new teenage Dockers gleaned from last night’s draft.
And Lyon, who shocked the football world by leaving St Kilda at the end of last season, said Fremantle’s superior development resources would allow him to build an even more imposing record with the youth at his disposal.
With Victorian midfielders Tom Sheridan and Hayden Crozier topping last night’s sweep for the Dockers, the club is now focused on claiming former St Kilda defender Zac Dawson in next month’s pre-season draft. They also are considering former Collingwood forward Brad Dick as a rookie-list prospect.
Lyon said Fremantle still had a lot of work to do to fill structural and fitness roles and promised not to shy away from providing young players with opportunity in trying to return the club to the finals next year.
“I’ll let my record at the Saints stand for itself and people can make their own judgment,” Lyon said.