Lyon circles top midfielders
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.
Lyon was critical of his midfield in the loss to Adelaide, blaming it for allowing star Crows forward Taylor Walker to dominate with five goals.
Lyon said Fremantle’s inability to stop the Adelaide midfield left Walker’s direct opponent Alex Silvagni exposed.
“Their midfielders started seeping out on our mids. Our [in]ability to get goal side when we needed to really gave them some clean entry and made Alex’s job quite difficult, so I wouldn’t demonise Alex,” he said.
“I thought he competed really quite fiercly and I think some of the clean ball coming in, Zac [Dawson] wouldn’t have stopped either.”
Lyon also predicted midfielders Nathan Fyfe and Stephen Hill are destined to become part of the competition’s elite.
“They’ve got plenty of room for growth,” Lyon said.
“Nathan Fyfe is a third-year player … we’re really excited about him. His ball use is an area that needs to improve. The great mids, like [Collingwood’s Scott] Pendlebury, use it exceptionally well, so he’ll (Fyfe) smooth off some rough layers.
“I thought Stephen Hill, his third quarter, when everyone else was struggling, he really dug in and lifted.”
Their performance would increase under new assistant coach Brett Kirk, Lyon said.
“It’s a hard caper, this, and to be the best you have to work through these issues and grow and I’m really confident with the character those lads possess and the experience of Sandilands and Mundy around them. Brett Kirk’s coming through, I think he’ll add an enormous amount to our young mids mentally, what the game’s about and how to get through it.
“We’re really confident they’ll assume elite bracket in the near future.”
In good news for Fremantle, Lyon said the club’s list was “pretty healthy” and expected only five or six players would require post-season surgery.