Archive for June, 2012
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has lauded his team’s effort in its 29-point loss to Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday, saying it will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.
Lyon also declared that Freo was still “well and truly alive” this season at 6-7 and 12th on the ladder.
Although reluctant to look ahead to Freo’s next month that sees it play Western Bulldogs (14th), Melbourne (16th), Greater Western Sydney (17th) and Port Adelaide (15th), Lyon remains optimistic and expects to regain playmaker Stephen Hill next round and possibly defender Zac Dawson.
Lyon principally put Freo’s loss down to its overuse of handball early in the game – it had 64 handballs and just 50 kicks in the first quarter – and its inability to combat Collingwood’s elite midfield at centre bounces.
But he was buoyed by Freo’s effort to cut a 40-point point deficit early in the second quarter to just 17 points at the 21-minute mark of the third term.
COLLINGWOOD 3.2 6.7 10.13 15.17 (107)
FREMANTLE 0.2 2.6 6.6 12.6 (78)
Collingwood: Dawes 3, Goldsack 2, Swan 2, Cloke 2, Paine 2, Thomas 2, Beams, Buckley
Fremantle: Pavlich 5, Mayne 2, Broughton 2, Clarke, Mundy, Pearce
Collingwood: Swan, Beams, Blair, Wellingham, Sidebottom,Thomas, Buckley, Goldsack, Elliott
Fremantle: Pavlich, McPharlin, Barlow, Griffin, Mundy
Collingwood: Travis Cloke replaced by Caolan Mooney in the fourth quarter
Fremantle: Lachie Neale replaced by Jayden Pitt in the third quarter
Umpires: Donlon, Jeffery, Mitchell
Official crowd: 44, 891 at the MCG
At the end of the 2011 season, Clancee Pearce admits that he was at the crossroads of his career. Rather than accept his AFL journey was over, he cleaned out the cupboards and started again.
When approached about doing a feature story, Clancee Pearce’s reaction was not that of a man who has become an integral and widely respected member of an elite sporting club.
“Who me?,” he said with genuine surprise.
It seems that Pearce himself doesn’t quite realise what all the fuss is about.
The football world has.
He has been among Fremantle’s best players on a regular basis in what has been a strong rise up the ranks for the 21-year-old this season.
The beginnings of the remarkable turnaround in a career that was at the crossroads can be traced back to an early October day in 2011.
Tendai Mzungu says he’s honoured to take over Matthew Pavlich’s duties at the coin toss for Saturday’s Multicultural Round match against Collingwood at the MCG.
Mzungu, who has Zimbabwean heritage, will join Collingwood’s Harry O’Brien (Brazil) at the centre square before the bounce.
The 26-year-old and West Coast’s Nic Naitanui (Fiji) were special guests at a cultural diversity breakfast at Patersons Stadium on Wednesday morning.
He told the audience his thoughts about being involved in the coin toss, which he had only just found out he would be doing.
“I can’t wait to get back to the club and let ‘Pav’ know he is stepping aside,” Mzungu joked.
“Tossing the coin at the MCG is something to brag to the kids and the grandkids about later in life.
Kepler Bradley (WP) 23 disposals (13 kicks, 10 handballs) 5 marks
Kepler played key forward, in the ruck and roamed on the ball at times. He worked very hard and had most of his effect on the game in the ruck, as it put him right in the play. We were happy with Kepler’s game.
Michael Walters (SD) 14 disposals (12 kicks, 2 handballs) 6 marks, 2 goals
Michael started the game in an exciting and energetic manner. He set up the first two goals through good leading patterns and smart use. He ended up kicking 2.4, with a couple of them being difficult shots. We were very pleased with his running – it was evident how hard he worked up the ground and coming back in transition. It was a valuable contribution from Michael.
Jay van Berlo (WP) 27 disposals (14 kicks, 13 handballs) 4 marks
Jay played in the midfield, directly on teammate Cam Sutcliffe. They had a good battle for the majority of the game. Jay worked hard, particularly running hard forward of the ball, and won lots of clearances. He tackled strongly and used the ball well. It was a consistent four quarters from him.
Cam Sutcliffe (EF) 25 disposals (17 kicks, 8 handballs) 4 marks, 1 goal
Cam played midfield on Jay van Berlo. He ran hard defensively to support and also ran hard the other way to attack inside 50. His ability to cover ground is very good. He kicked the ball well, with five inside 50’s. Both he and Jay had a really good hit-out.
Veteran defender Antoni Grover is Fremantle’s WAFL Player of the Round after shutting down former AFL star Paul Medhurst on the weekend.
Grover missed four weeks because of injury, but he has showed pleasing signs since returning to action.
Fremantle assistant and senior development coach Simon Lloyd said Grover’s performance was a pleasing one.
“If you look through the course of the year, Antoni has been consistent throughout the season,” Lloyd said.
“He is very professional in the way that he carries himself around the club and he has the utmost respect from the players and coaches.
“Antoni is a real competitor, and you’ll be sure that as long as he is playing football, he will want to get the best out of himself.”
Lloyd shared his notes on all Fremantle’s players who played in the WAFL on the weekend.
Nick Lower says being out of the side in the first 12 rounds has been testing, but he’s happy to have finally played a game of AFL in 2012.
The 25-year-old inside midfielder had 30 disposals against Essendon last Saturday night in a promising return to the senior side.
“It’s been a frustrating start to the year with suspension and a couple of injuries,” he said.
“But that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. You’ve got to deal with things like that.”
Lower, who admitted to being nervous before his comeback game, credited the club for supporting him while he has been working his way back through the WAFL.
“It’s been a testing time but the coaches have been great and the boys have been fantastic,” he said.
“It was just great to get out there get and amongst it.”
Young Fremantle Docker Lachie Neale says the biggest eye-opener halfway through his first AFL season has been the importance of a defensive mindset.
Neale was drafted by Fremantle with the 58th pick in last year’s National Draft after representing South Australia in the national under 18s carnival.
“It’s a lot different to what I was used to back in Adelaide,” he said of the AFL.
“Playing under 18s footy was all about getting a kick.
“But I’ve really had to work on the defensive side of my game in the AFL and I’ve still got a lot of improvement to go in that area.”
The 18-year-old said the main lesson he had learnt about defence was that it was a team effort.
“Everyone knows you can run around on your own and get a kick, but when the ball is turned over, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing forward pocket or back pocket, you’ve got to defend,” he said.
Fremantle forward Chris Mayne says working together like a top-four team is the challenge for his side as it prepares for Saturday’s daunting clash against ladder-leader Collingwood at the MCG.
After beating Richmond in Melbourne in round 11 and pushing Essendon for three quarters last Saturday, Mayne said he was seeing more “passion” from his teammates.
The 23-year-old said producing consistent effort like the AFL’s top four teams was the key to Fremantle (6-6) stringing wins together and climbing back up the ladder.
“[Collingwood players] work for each other, they play for each other and that’s something that we’re working on at the moment,” Mayne said on Wednesday.
“I think as a group they’re a great team, and that’s what you expect from top-four sides.
“We’re really starting to work for each other and you can see a bit more passion. We’re taking on the challenges of playing at the MCG and playing away.