Archive for May, 2012
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon only left St Kilda for the money and it is showing in the Dockers game style, according to Cartlon premiership great Mark Maclure.
Speaking on AFL 360 last night Maclure said Lyon joined the Dockers for the wrong reasons and didn’t believe the group had enough class to win by playing offensive, old-fashioned football.
Fremantle have drawn strong criticism for their defensive gamestyle after massive losses to Hawthorn and West Coast over the past two weeks.
While the negative mindset has seen the Dockers concede the fifth least points this season, it has also affected their ability to hit the scoreboard themselves. The club ranks 15th in total points scored.
Michael Barlow admits he’s not currently playing at peak fitness, but the midfielder says he’s only “a couple of percentage points” away from it.
The 24-year-old said an interrupted pre-season had left him playing catch-up to achieve the condition he and the club’s fitness staff have targeted.
“I’d be lying if I said I was there at the moment,” Barlow said.
“I’m probably only a couple of percentage points off peak fitness, but in modern day footy, a couple of percentage off is going to give opposition players that little bit of an edge for that five minute patch.”
Barlow said his early form was a reflection of an interrupted pre-season and the weekly management of his body.
But he was also confident he was very close to his best.
“I feel I’m only going to get better with more full-time training and game time,” he said.
Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich is confident the club’s flagging midfield stocks can be rebuilt before the end of the season with a view to still having an impact during this year’s finals series.
And the veteran has backed coach Ross Lyon’s game plan, blaming “the attitude and the intensity of our players” for the team’s horror fortnight against Hawthorn and West Coast.
Fremantle has battled in the midfield in recent weeks, with young star Nat Fyfe injured and clearance specialists David Mundy and Michael Barlow below their best following interrupted pre-seasons.
After last Sunday’s embarrassing loss to West Coast, Lyon said he needed to “build a midfield that competes against class”, promising changes ahead of Saturday’s clash with Adelaide at Patersons Stadium.
Pavlich said the club could get its midfield up to speed this season, with finals still “absolutely” on the radar for the 5-4 team.
Fremantle star David Mundy will become eligible for Life Membership of the club when he runs out for his 150th AFL game this Saturday at Patersons Stadium against Adelaide.
The 26-year-old midfielder said the milestone was an achievement he was honoured to reach.
“It’s a big accolade,” he said.
“All footballers say milestones are something you reflect back on at the end of your days and be really proud of.
“I’m proud to have played my whole career to date at Fremantle.”
After playing 124 consecutive games since his debut in 2005, Mundy missed a match in round 17, 2010 because of food poisoning.
Injuries in 2011 also hampered his progress to 150 games.
“I was looking at it last year, if I had played all the games I would have got to 150,” he said.
Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy says Fremantle have a significant hole in their playing list and need to go shopping for several class midfielders at the end of the season.
The three-times All-Australian and respected AFL commentator delivered his assessment yesterday as an underdone David Mundy said he was frustrated at not being able to do more to stem the stoppage rout being experienced by the Dockers this year.
Mundy will play his 150th game against third-placed Adelaide at Patersons Stadium on Saturday with the club’s defensive game plan under coach Ross Lyon facing heavy scrutiny.
Lyon has lamented Fremantle’s ineffectiveness at stoppages following comprehensive losses to West Coast and Hawthorn.
The Dockers have had 30 fewer clearances than their opposition in those defeats. They have not won a clearance count since round five.
Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich has hit back at criticism of the team’s game plan, saying the Dockers’ TV ratings have almost doubled since they appointed coach Ross Lyon and finals are still on the radar.
The Dockers have been the target of a barrage of criticism in recent weeks as former stars attacked Lyon’s game plan for being too defensive. Fremantle are the fourth-lowest scoring team of the year and managed just five goals against West Coast on Sunday. Robert Walls, Kevin Bartlett and Mark Ricciuto were among the respected commentators who criticised the club on Monday and fans bombarded websites and talkback radio with complaints.
A key mentor to Ross Lyon has urged the Fremantle coach to compromise on his rigid defensive structures and build a more attacking game plan or risk losing hordes of supporters.
Carlton’s 1987 premiership coach Robert Walls, who coached Lyon as a player at both Fitzroy and Brisbane, said the poor offensive output in a thrashing from West Coast on Sunday highlighted midfield and forward problems that required significant surgery.
Yeah, yeah, so I get that this is an AFL season without a dominant team, in which seemingly any one of five or six teams could win the flag.
What goes unmentioned but is closer to the heart is that this is also the year in which your office tipping competition could be taken out by the girl who spends several weeks of the season in a remote area of Nepal.
(I couldn’t make this stuff up, our WAtoday comp is currently being led – by three clear tips no less – by someone who has just returned from Everest base camp).
Maligned Fremantle defender Zac Dawson is set to hold his spot for Saturday’s clash with Adelaide after a glowing endorsement from coach Ross Lyon.
Dawson has struggled to jell with experienced backmen Luke McPharlin and Michael Johnson as the Dockers slowly adjust to Lyon’s playing style.
Fremantle’s faltering backline was exposed in the Western Derby loss to arch-rivals West Coast, with many critics and fans pointing the finger at Dawson.
Fremantle’s midfield issues are only minor and can be fixed quickly, according to on-baller David Mundy, as the 5-4 team looks to rebound from a horror fortnight against Adelaide on Saturday.
Coach Ross Lyon and his players have come under fire following a midfield demolition at the hands of West Coast last Sunday, which resulted in the club’s lowest score – 5.6 (36) – on home turf in 18 seasons.
Mundy, who conceded he is still below full fitness after recovering from a serious ankle injury, said this week’s match review had revealed the need for “minor adjustments to what we already know and what we already do”.
“We’re pretty confident that they can be implemented ASAP,” the 26-year-old said on Tuesday, ahead of his 150th game.
“It’s just some minor tweaks and changes to our systems. We’re fairly confident we can get it right pretty quickly.