Compromise? No chance.
Anyone who thought the Fremantle Dockers were going to give anything but their best against Melbourne on Saturday night obviously had not been listening to a word Ross Lyon said throughout 2012.
Many outside of the club believed Freo could have ‘managed’ the round 23 result to get an elimination final at home against West Coast, as opposed to travelling to Melbourne to face defending premiers Geelong, which the side will do at the MCG on Saturday night.
But that would have gone against all the values Lyon has instilled into his team.
On a weekly basis, the word ‘effort’ bobs up in his pre and post-match media interviews.
The senior coach always demands his players give “100 per cent effort, 100 per cent of the time”.
“We’re an anywhere, anytime team”, he said leading up to the match against Melbourne last week.
Lyon told everyone Freo did not care who it faced in the finals, but still, there were question marks.
He also said to be the best, Freo had to beat the best.
Facing the reigning premiers, on a ground that has played host to their greatness three times in the past five years, surely qualifies as that.
A man whose mantra is “uncompromising” football was never going to compromise the result of an AFL match.
Doing that would have painted Fremantle as afraid of facing the Cats. This team has shirked at no challenge in 2012.
Why should it fear Geelong? It has beaten them already this season.
Why should it fear playing in Melbourne? It has won four of five matches there in 2012.
Whatever the outcome of Saturday night’s Elimination Final, the Fremantle Dockers will come out a better club, knowing they gave every single ounce of effort they had.