Fremantle remaining upbeat despite three-match losing run
Fremantle’s Matt de Boer says the Dockers feel “up and about” despite a run of three straight losses that has placed their finals hopes in jeopardy.
Fremantle faces Richmond at the MCG on Saturday, a ground the Dockers have not won at since Round 4, 2007.
De Boer said far from being daunted, his side believed they were capable of beating anyone, anywhere.
“We’re always tinkering with a few things and we’re a young group as well. So we’re upbeat and we know that we can go anywhere and beat anyone if we put a four-quarter effort in so that’s what we’re working on,” he said.
De Boer gathered 25 possessions in the midfield to be one of Fremantle’s best players in Saturday’s loss to Adelaide.
But his injection into the stoppages couldn’t stop the Dockers from again being humbled in the clearances, 53-30.
De Boer said the finger should be pointed at the ground-level on-ballers rather than ruck giant Aaron Sandilands.
“He’s there doing all he can so the onus is on us to make sure that we talk to him and he knows where the tap’s going, and then second off having clean hands and being able to get it forward to our forwards,” he said.
Sandilands said the Dockers’ continuing clearance woes were frustrating him.
“You’re always frustrated when you’re trying your best and the figures aren’t quite getting there,” Sandilands said.
“The numbers are still down so there’s a lot of work that we need to do and we are doing that work. Hopefully we can turn it around.”
De Boer said he enjoyed his move on-ball but that he still had plenty to learn.
“I played as a midfielder as a junior, but I suppose a lot of kids do, and I’m happy to go wherever the coach wants me,” he said.
“If they think I’ve got some benefit in the midfield I’m happy to step in there and do whatever I can to try and help the side.
“It was tough. I was obviously very fresh to it and learning as I went a little bit.
There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement and I’ve got a lot to learn so I’ll be getting in Dave Mundy’s ear, Micky Barlow, and try and pick up as much as I can.”