Finals mix not Freo’s focus
Fremantle won’t be distracted by the prospect of a derby final or other September scenarios when it takes on Melbourne on Saturday night, according to midfielder David Mundy.
A historic first final between West Coast and Fremantle looms as a strong possibility with both clubs locked in the top eight following Freo’s big win over North Melbourne on Sunday.
It is the first time since 2006 that both WA clubs will play finals, and Fremantle could even earn a home final if it beats Melbourne at Patersons Stadium and Geelong loses to the Sydney Swans this weekend.
A derby clash in week one of the finals would occur if the Eagles lost to Hawthorn on Friday night and North Melbourne overtook Fremantle in seventh-place with a percentage-boosting win over Greater Western Sydney.
Mundy said the players wouldn’t look past Melbourne this Saturday night, despite the excitement of the club booking its fourth finals campaign in 18 seasons.
“I think if you look too far ahead or take too many factors like that into it you can really lose focus,” Mundy said.
“You only have to look at the weekend with Carlton going down to the Suns, we don’t want something like that on the eve of the finals.
“We’re just looking for another really strong performance this weekend and we’ll go from there.
“To lock the finals away is a great result … [but] we’ll be focusing on Melbourne really heavily this week.”
Fremantle kicked 14 second-half goals at Etihad Stadium on Sunday in a powerful performance without injured captain Matthew Pavlich, who could return this week.
Following Carlton’s loss on Saturday night, Fremantle only needed one win from its last two games to secure a top-eight spot, but coach Ross Lyon made sure that scenario didn’t influence his players on Sunday.
“Ross called us all in yesterday morning and brought it up because everyone was thinking about it,” Mundy said.
“We had a really strong focus that that wasn’t a part of our game preparations and it wasn’t really going to affect the way we went and played.
“North really came out firing, so I was really proud of the boys’ efforts yesterday. It was a really strong response particularly early when the heat was in the game.”
Mundy praised Lyon’s game-plan and said the players were now comfortable in the structures he had put in place. The key midfielder said it was a game style that should hold up in finals.
“The way we go about it, we want to win the hard ball and the contested ball and that’s finals kind of football, from the last few years anyway,” he said.
“I think our game-plan stands up, we’ve just got to go out there and apply it really well.
“The boys are really applying themselves at training and in meetings throughout the week and that’s really showing in games.
“The training intensity’s gone up this year, definitely in the second half of the year, and that’s really put us in good stead going into games.”