Fremantle were commanding in 2015 for majority of the season. Their run was so strong that they finished at the top of the AFL ladder on 68 points, accumulating 17 wins and 5 losses from their 22 regular season games.
Additionally, their player Nathan Fyfe secured the club’s first Brownlow Medal as well. The season seemed to be going stellar. However, to the dismay of the players, professional bettors and the fans, the Dockers bowed out early at the hands of Hawthorn in the preliminary finals. The bitter loss and disappointment still lingers over the heads of last year’s players.
It is a new year and the team is optimistic about putting the loss behind them to focus on their premiership chances in 2016. The question lingers among the pundits is whether Fremantle can break into the top 4 and win in the 2016 season?
Changes to Matty Pavich’s career
The Dockers can breathe a sigh of relief as there were rumours swirling around that the 34 year old might hang up his boots and retire from the game. Thankfully, he has decided to stay on for another season, however he has relinquished the captaincy for the club after nine seasons. He has served as an asset to the club for a long-time, leading the goal-kicking for several seasons.
New captain for a new beginning in 2016
Fremantle elected a new team captain for their 2016 campaign. The new team captain David Mundy, will take over the reigns from Matthew Pavlich who stood down as captain of the Dockers after nine seasons. Although the new captain showed excitement with the new roles and responsibilities, he has realised that he has big shoes to fill and is optimistic that the team will ignite their campaign with a bang.
What vision does coach Ross Lyon have?
Head coach Ross Lyon will want to change the Dockers fate in 2016. The season is looking optimistic after he successfully secured the services of Anthony Rock as an assistant coach from North Melbourne, after coaches Brett Kirk and Simon Lloyd departed at the end of 2015. The pair have worked together in the past at St. Kilda.
The coach still has the support of his players
Talented players that listen to and commit to their coaches leadership win matches. After their finals exit last year, Lyon said he received a text from player and Brownlow Medallist Nathan Fyfe addressing five areas the club could improve on in the 2016 season. The side was already focussed on becoming better in 2016 under the guidance of their coach.
New Dockers talent could boost their attacking game in 2016
Fremantle general manager Brad Lloyd secured strong emerging talent for the side. Changes to last season’s team means the club needs to revamp their lineup to strengthen their side. Fremantle were able to secure new players from the draft including Harley Bennell, who kicked 92 goals in 81 AFL games for the Suns. Another new signing is that of Queenslander Matthew Uebergang. Weighing in at 94 kg and a height of 194cm should play as a key forward or defender for the team. He was the winner of the NEAFL rising star award and possesses an immense amount of athleticism for his size, which will favour well with the Dockers. These promising athletes are likely to make a positive impact to the team this season.
The Dockers are optimistic about breaking down the premiership door in 2016. Although their premiership dreams were crushed when they suffered an early exit in the preliminary finals, the team has come together and are prepared to move forward and build a campaign that will see them finish the season not only as minor premiers, but with a major premiership flag as well.