Former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos says new Fremantle leader Ross Lyon isn’t feeling the weight of expectation that has accompanied him on his shock move west.

Lyon rocked the AFL world last September with his defection to the Dockers after five years in charge at St Kilda.

The coaching coup – Lyon boasted 76 wins and four draws from 121 games in charge at the Saints – has led to Fremantle being widely touted as likely finalists and flag contenders in 2012.

Sportsbet.com.au has Fremantle, who lost their final seven matches last season, at $21 in premiership betting, behind only Collingwood, Hawthorn, Geelong, Carlton and West Coast.

Roos, who played with Lyon at Fitzroy and employed him as an assistant coach at Sydney Swans, said pre-season hype would not phase his “great mate”.

“He would know there are expectations on him,” Roos told foxsports.com.au.

“He had a lot of expectations on him at St Kilda, they played in three grand finals.

“I certainly don’t think that’s going to worry him too much.

“There probably wasn’t a coach who was under more scrutiny in the past four years than Ross.

“I think he’s excited and energised and looking forward to it.”

Roos is one who expects Fremantle to bounce back after their 2011 campaign was cruelled by injuries.

He nominated senior stars Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands as keys to their success.

The good news for Fremantle fans is Pavlich is moving well after post-season hip surgery and posted a new personal best in the 3km time trial this month

Sandilands, who battled turf toe for much of last year, was dominant in a recent intra-club hit-out at Patersons Stadium.

“I think if Fremantle do get their best players on the field then they will have a very, very good season.

“To be a top-eight team you can probably have a few of your season players not have great years, providing some of your young blokes step up and there’s some consistency.

“If Freo were to be a top-four team the two players I still say need to perform are Sandilands and Pavlich.

“If they play up to their expectation then it generally gives them a chance to have a super successful year.

“Again, a lot will depend on injuries and so forth, but I think Sandilands and Pavlich are the two who are most critical to the Dockers.”

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