Archive for September, 2012
Essendon forward Scott Gumbleton is likely to become a trade target for Fremantle as they contemplate the likelihood that Collingwood’s Travis Cloke will reject their free agency overtures.
Gumbleton, 24, has been offered a one-year contract by Essendon but finds himself a long way back in the tall forward pecking order, with highly-rated teenager Joe Daniher set to join Michael Hurley, Stewart Crameri and Paddy Ryder at the club next season.
The Dockers are looking to bolster their tall stocks at either end of the ground because skipper Matthew Pavlich and power defender Luke McPharlin will turn 31 at the end of this year.
Cloke and Collingwood broke off contract talks two-thirds of the way through the season, deadlocked on the club’s four-year $750,000-a-year offer.
But if Cloke does leave Collingwood he is expected to follow former coach Mick Malthouse to Carlton.
Fremantle strongman Adam McPhee is considering his future and could be lured back to Victoria to continue his AFL career.
Often the scapegoat and fall guy with Fremantle’s inconsistent overall performances since he crossed back to the Dockers three years ago, the former Essendon club champion is out of contract.
He is understood to be attracting significant interest from clubs in his home state of Victoria.
Adelaide rejoiced in its semi-final win on Friday night, but whatever the equal and opposite emotion is, it was not apparent in the Fremantle rooms. Mostly in the rooms of a losing semi-finalist there is only grim silence and ghostly stillness, but in the Fremantle rooms, there was chatter and industry. Players and coaches mingled with families and friends. Some did interviews, in which the tone – once the first pang had passed – was upbeat, coach Ross Lyon especially. The Dockers were disappointed, but not distraught.
Partly, it was because they were in demob mode; they would play no more footy this season. But, you suspect, it was also because they divined that although they had lost, they had also gained. They had beaten Geelong in Melbourne and led Adelaide in Adelaide in the last quarter. Their mission – to win four finals in row, all on the road – was impossible, but they had given it a good shake.
Ross Lyon has revealed Fremantle will target midfielders in this season’s draft and trade periods.
The call is sure to add to speculation Fremantle is set for an off-season raid on out-of-contract St Kilda star Brendon Goddard.
Speaking on Melbourne radio following his team’s season-ending loss to Adelaide in the semi-final, Lyon said he wanted a player with skill who could break lines.
“I think we need more mids,” Lyon told SEN.
“We need more depth of mid, a bit of pace and skill and line-breaking. That’s the area we’re targeting.”
In August, AFL.com.au revealed Goddard’s love of golf could play a role in his future, with Freo believed to be a key bidder for his services.
Goddard was honoured with St Kilda life membership at the Saints’ best and fairest night on Wednesday night.
Friday night’s semi-final loss to Adelaide was a tough ending to Fremantle’s encouraging finals campaign, but it could prove the final act in a pivotal season in the club’s history.
On the back of the team’s finals heroics it’s easy to forget Freo’s September dreams were circling the drain with the club sitting 13th on the ladder after round 14 on the back of five losses from six games.
Ross Lyon and his game plan were subjected to some intense scrutiny before a stirring fightback in the second half of the season saw them fall about 10 points shy of participating in a preliminary final.
Fremantle won nine of 10 games, including an upset elimination final win against Geelong, before stumbling against the Crows.
Ruckman Aaron Sandilands agrees the performances in the second half of 2012 will give he and his teammates plenty to work with next year and beyond, but the final sting in the tail of the season may prove to be the biggest spur.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has refused to use his team’s gruelling travel schedule as an excuse for Friday night’s season-ending loss to Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
Freo’s players had little time to recover from the elimination final win against Geelong in Melbourne before fronting up to face the Crows in Adelaide six days later.
Despite the short turnaround, Fremantle burst out of the blocks to lead by 29 points early in the second quarter before being overrun, but Lyon dismissed talk that travel may have played a part.
“It’s irrelevant – it’s all garbage to be frank,” Lyon said.
“As senior coach of the Fremantle Football Club … we’re not into excuses. You earn the right for top-four, scheduling is irrelevant, we wouldn’t have been talking about scheduling if we’d been a bit more organised [on the field] and a bit more polished.
David Mundy is adamant Fremantle did not drop away in the second half of tonight’s 10-point Semi Final loss to Adelaide that ended the club’s season.
After leading by as much as 29 points in the first half, Freo couldn’t match it with the Crows in the end.
Mundy said Freo were simply outplayed and refused to blame any tiredness associated with the club’s short turnaround going into the game.
“We didn’t fall away,” he said.
“The boys fought it out all night, which was great.
“We lost a little bit of organisation in the second half and we weren’t as composed with the ball as we would have liked.
“The Crows opened us up with their ball movement, especially in the second half, and we just weren’t able to match them.”
ADELAIDE 1.3 4.7 8.9 12.9 (81)
FREMANTLE 4.1 7.2 8.4 11.5 (71)
Adelaide: Walker 5, Porplyzia 3, Dangerfield, Wright, Tippett, Vince
Fremantle: Mayne 3, Walters 3, Ballantyne, Ibbotson, Fyfe, Suban, Pavlich
Adelaide: Walker, Smith, Rutten, Scott Thompson, Porplyzia, Vince, Reilly
Fremantle: Mundy, Johnson, Walters, Barlow, Duffield, Fyfe, Sandilands
Adelaide: Sam Shaw (left hamstring), Jared Petrenko (right shoulder)
Adelaide: Sam Shaw (left hamstring) replaced by Graham Johncock at quarter time
Fremantle: Garrick Ibbotson replaced by Nick Suban at three-quarter time
Umpires: Nicholls, Meredith, McInerney
Official crowd: 31,742 at AAMI Stadium
Fremantle’s third finals win in the club’s 18-year history was undoubtedly its best.
The seventh-placed Fremantle faced one of football’s biggest tasks – an in-form Geelong at the MCG in the first week of the finals.
Many had tipped the Cats to be the genuine premiership contender outside the top four but Fremantle put paid to that idea with the first seven goals of the game.
It was a watershed moment for Fremantle and for coach Ross Lyon who couldn’t have arrived at his new club with any more scrutiny and pressure.
Not that Lyon was going to buy into any of the hype that is sure to come Fremantle’s way.
“At the end of the day this is a final. We’ve finished seventh and we’ve come and won one final. There’s no coming of age, this is about one week and one final,” Lyon said.
FREMANTLE 5.7 8.9 12.11 14.12 (96)
GEELONG 0.1 3.5 6.9 11.14 (80)
Fremantle: Pavlich 6, Ballantyne 3, Walters 2, Crowley, De Boer, Pearce
Geelong: Mackie 2, Hunt 2, Christensen, Duncan, Motlop, Selwood, Stokes, Vardy, Taylor
Fremantle: Pavlich, Barlow, Mundy, McPhee, Walters
Geelong: Selwood, Bartel, Corey, Mackie, Duncan
Geelong: Jonathan Simpkin replaced Jordan Murdoch in the third quarter.
Fremantle: Nick Suban replaced Leigh Spurr in the fourth quarter.
Reports: James Kelly (Geelong) reported for rough conduct on Tendai Mzungu by umpire Pannell in the third quarter.
Umpires: Bannister, Pannell, Rosebury
Official crowd: 44,460 at the MCG