Freo’s forward focus
After missing out on securing Mitch Clark in Trade Week, Fremantle knows unearthing a second tall forward is crucial in 2012.
The 24-year-old accepted a lucrative offer from Melbourne, despite first declaring he only wanted to play for Freo.
The club is now focused on developing a player within its ranks to assist skipper Matthew Pavlich, who has been earmarked for a permanent forward role next season.
“Jack Anthony and Kepler Bradley and, depending on the match committee, probably a resting ruckman,” assistant coach Peter Sumich said when asked who the preferred options were.
When asked if young ruckman Zac Clarke would fulfill the role, Sumich replied: “At the moment we’d probably class [Clarke] more as a forward but Zac hasn’t been on the track yet and has to keep working through that process.”
Sumich hoped Pavlich, who increased his midfield presence in 2011, could lengthen his career with a return to the forward line.
“I think Pav has got three, four or five years in him, depending on how he wants to prepare,” Sumich said.
“Playing up forward will hopefully give him an extra couple of years, I think in the midfield he’s been bashed around a bit and took a lot of the load so that will be eased for sure.”
Sumich also flagged the possibility of Fremantle resting players next season, suggesting the trend was likely to become more prevalent in the future.
It was Sumich’s first press conference at Freo after the Eagles legend surprised many by moving to their cross-town rival in October.
Despite having spent 10 seasons as an assistant at West Coast following a decorated 150-game career, Sumich said the decision to change clubs was an easy one.
“It wasn’t difficult [telling Eagles coach John Worsfold], we’ve got great respect for each other, unfortunately it was a phonecall [to inform him], I would have liked it to be one on one but he was away so wasn’t able to do so,” he said.
“I’ve been at one club for a long time and had great success there. When you have success you always look to move on and hopefully have success at another place. Hopefully down the track we’ll get this [at Fremantle].”
Meanwhile, Fremantle has invited two players from reigning WAFL premiers Claremont to train with the club.
Tom Lee and Kane Mitchell will train with the club ahead of the December 13 pre-season draft in the hope of securing a rookie spot.
Lee spent time with Adelaide after being drafted in 2008.