After receiving virtually no interest over the summer, punters with online bookmaker sportsbet have been quick to jump on Fremantle after last night’s round 1 win over West Coast.
Entering the match as a $14 chance to win the flag, Fremantle have shortened to $10 with plenty of support coming for them this morning at that price.
As a result West Coast, who were second favourites at $5.50, have drifted out to $7.50.
And now the excuses start from West Coast supporters.
We had too many players out injured. Mark LeCras and Eric Mackenzie hurt themselves during the game. It’s only round one so it doesn’t really count for anything.
Funny how Eagles fans weren’t talking about any of those things when they were so keen to tip their side in the week before Saturday’s western derby loss to Freo.
The Western Bulldogs are likely to be without their brilliant skipper Matthew Boyd for the round 2 clash against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday 6 April.
Scans have revealed the midfield warrior has suffered a calf strain and is expected to miss at least two to three weeks.
Boyd experienced soreness in his ca;f after the recent practice match against Richmond.
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.
Ross Lyon walked into a media firestorm on his first day as Fremantle coach. But right now, it might be planning a statue for him at Subiaco.
Well maybe not yet, but the Dockers coach has certainly turned the tide of opinion in his favour as the underachieving Fremantle launches into a finals series. In any case, he’s not one to worry about public popularity. ”I haven’t got a fan-o-meter on my desk,” he says.
The City of Fremantle is known for its contribution to keeping the local area as ‘green’ as possible and that mentality has now been infused into the designs for the new training facilities proposed for the Fremantle Dockers.
In designs released last week, the City outlined its plans for the Dockers to become the AFL’s first ‘green team’ with the inclusion of a solar farm, wind turbines, water recycling and geothermal pool heating.
Michael Barlow gets goose bumps just thinking about the prospect of lining up for his first AFL final under lights at the MCG against the defending premiers.
The 24-year-old midfielder missed out on his dream of playing in September when a broken leg ended his season in 2010.
Barlow had to watch from the sidelines as his teammates won a memorable Elimination Final against Hawthorn at Subiaco Oval before being bundled out by Geelong the following week.
He said playing finals footy was a major driving force in getting him through his rehab and back on the field.
“Those first few games were a massive achievement for me and almost as significant as my debut game and getting drafted,” he said.
“Now to be involved in a side that’s going into finals is another step and another progression in my career.