Tell me why we shouldn't be expecting to make Top 4 this year

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Yeah I’ve got no issue with your opinion, just keen to know who you would prefer coaching us. I’m on record as saying Chris Scott would be my pick but are there any realistically available coaches who could instantly change our fortunes?
I'd be happy to continue the conversation in the coach thread so as not to derail this one, I was just giving a pictorial answer to the question posed by the thread title. Mind you there are other reasons why I don't think we'll be top 4 too so that isn't the whole answer but it's a significant contributing factor.
 
1. Last year I felt we needed 1 or 2 more small forwards and we have lost Schultz. It is not just the goals, but the forward pressure we well miss and expecting Walters to fill the gap is asking too much.

2. Our midfield lacks explosive players to break lines, or elite skills.

3. Our mids don't play forward very well. A player like de Goey would be a game changer.
We have limited specialist small forwards. But I’m hopeful we can manufacture
one. How many players start out forward and then transition into mids.
Medium talls we have numerous options, and our 3 talls overall will cause
Problems.

That midfielder is possibly here, MJ ticks all the boxes, and by all reports Simpson
will play forward until he muscles up.
Simpson reads the play and is on the move, that combination ensures you look
quick and he is sponge apparently learning from our best.
Sharp is another mystery, with the running power of say Langdon but with
offensive weapons.


Erasmus is exactly that type of player, its the position that he was playing to get
drafted.
Serong is our Lauchie Neale replacement and he could be rotated instead of
resting on the bench.
IMO it’s not Fyfe, Mundy had ice in his veins Nathan doesn’t.
Cameo’s from Switta, JOM, but I don’t see them in the picture long term.
 
I think we should be Top 6 on the basis we take care of business at Home.

It's infuriating losing games at optus to mediocre sides. We should be winning 10 games there a year with a maximum of 2 slip ups. We did it at Subi during the Ross Lyon era of 2013-2015.

Then you only have to win half your away games and your set for the top 4.

When you look back at 2022 we won enough away games to be top 4. But tossed away too many home games and missed out half a win.
 

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The simple answer is most of the blokes you have pencilled in as quality are still just potential and most of the blokes with a ton of experience just aren't that good relative to the rest of the comp.

You get there on an experienced core of quality players with (usually well) over 100 games. This is a list of our blokes with a 100 games.

Pearce
Ryan
Cox
Brayshaw
Hughes
Fyfe
O'meara
Walters
Aish
Tabs

Of them, only Brayshaw and Ryan are proven A-graders currently. 2 used to be but got old or injured, 1 probably will be soon and they rest never were or will be. 1 is still one of our top whipping boys.

Pull up Brisbane or Pies 10 best 100+ gamers and see if you can spot the difference.

If your expectations are for top 4, you're just overrating our list on potential (which numerous other clubs could do just as well), simple as that.
I know we both disagree on this but using 100 games as an arbitrary market of whether a player is ready or not is a bit misleading.
Sean Darcy will be a 100 gamer when the ball is bounces for round 2. That’s one more A grader to add to your list.
Then there is our best player a current AA on 80 games and our second best player a current AA squad member on 75 games. Surely they have to be considered as effective elite 100gamers already?
 
I know we both disagree on this but using 100 games as an arbitrary market of whether a player is ready or not is a bit misleading.
Sean Darcy will be a 100 gamer when the ball is bounces for round 2. That’s one more A grader to add to your list.
Then there is our best player a current AA on 80 games and our second best player a current AA squad member on 75 games. Surely they have to be considered as effective elite 100gamers already?
If there is plenty of talk about the Hawks, then our list deserves a mention.
I’ve got a feeling that they rate the coach highly, so totally opposite for us.
 
I know we both disagree on this but using 100 games as an arbitrary market of whether a player is ready or not is a bit misleading.
Sean Darcy will be a 100 gamer when the ball is bounces for round 2. That’s one more A grader to add to your list.
Then there is our best player a current AA on 80 games and our second best player a current AA squad member on 75 games. Surely they have to be considered as effective elite 100gamers already?
Yeah it counts, but what do you reckon the odds are that we're not the only one with players like that?

It's not arbitrary, average experience of premiers is over 100 and we're not there. That gives you an indicator as to what level of experience you need. Why would we be the exception to any rule?
 
I will give you 5.

Nat fyfe - such a good pre-season but recent history tells you he probably won't play more than 7/8 games.
Wings - Geez we have lost some talent (Brad Hill, Langdon, Acres, Henry, Weller) but one of Johnson or Sharp need to have a brilliant year on a wing.....still an unknown.
Centre Half Forward - If Treacy can take the next step it would be huge......still an unknown.
Longmuir - Needs to create a game plan that can take a team deep into finals....still an unknown.
Youth - We are the second or third youngest squad in the league.
 
Why shouldn’t we be expecting top 4? Because we are too young.

our tall forwards are too young.
our midfield are too young (not many aged 25-29)
our wings are too young / unknown
we don’t have a proven small forward other than sonny

too young also covers insufficient games played.

7th to 10th would be a good year, then with any luck we can answer the same question more positively in 12 months.
 
I’m very interested to see how Sydney do this year compared to us. I genuinely believe your KPF has to be in their prime in order to be any real threat. Sydney fell away last year (compared to the GF year) with Buddy finally on his last legs which is hardly a coincidence and this year it’s all on McDonald and Amartey.

It goes doubly for us because Amiss is genuinely one of our better players that we need a lot from (compared to a Collingwood with Mihochek). I also really worry about the small forwards and I think somehow getting one or even two that are 24+ this offseason would do wonders for getting us consistently in the top 8. It won’t happen but Stengle would completely change our forward line, I hope they are at least asking the question
 
Just checked for interest average age and games for our teams:
final game 2012 - 25.4, 96 games
final game 2023 - 24.3, 71 games

(and Schultz probably turns into Simpson)

the junior GF team last year was 26.9 years old with 136 games average. Collingwood was older with a couple more games.

Please, please, please temper expectations of players and the coach.
 
I actually think the biggest reason we won't make Top 4 is not our forwards or our mids, but our backline. In particular:

(1) Too many fitness concerns around the key players that the backline rely on. Pearce and Cox both have some ??? whilst Chapman who may play back part of the time has hamstring injuries. Take players out of the forward line or mids and there is someone around that you can argue is up for the fight. Take Pearce or Cox out and it what we have left looks really fragile to defend tall forward lines (I suspect if this happens then Luke Ryan becomes a pseudo key defender again).

(2) Cox (whilst have been really good in 2022) was well out of form in 2023 despite coming in with better fitness and I don't see him looking raring to go this year either. He is probably the most critical piece to the backline. When on form he is both taking marks and setting up goals from defence going the other way and he contributes massively to the results of 2022. However if he gets taken away from the play like he did heaps of time in 2023 then we massively lose defensive and offensive power and will lose out as a team. IMO Clubs will focus on taking him and Clark out of the equation.

(3) Slow ineffective ball movement - this not only hurts us offensively but also allows opposition to put more and more pressure on our defence. Already in the pre-season I think we can say that there are not good signs from the intra-club matches. I am not saying this is something that intrinsically wrong with the personnel but you have to have the bravery to keep taking the game on. Chapman and Walker are among some of our best offensive backmen, but they are also the ones with the biggest ??? fitness wise. Wagner is a confidence player and he can easily lose confidence in attempting to make a kick or take the opposition on. It all allows opposition to tag Clark out of being able to provide offensive moves.
 
Why shouldn’t we expect to be top 4? Because nearly 30 years of being a Freo member will suck the spirit of you

I’ve learnt to survive by tempering expectations.
 

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Don’t invite me to your party!
Degoey haha

You read to many dirt sheets

Carn the dockers

Forget what De Goey does off field - Nothing in the previous post is wrong.

Only disagreement I’ve had with that poster is how many small forwards we need. I was happy enough with replacing Walters a few years down the line tbh - now Schultz is gone too.

I firmly believe that amongst group of forwards we had last year there’s one or two that could increase their number of goals by 0.5 a game. That combined with some scoring contribution from the midfield (other than Brayshaw - he’s already doing it), then I think we’ve almost bridged the gap in scoring.
 
Forget what De Goey does off field - Nothing in the previous post is wrong.

Only disagreement I’ve had with that poster is how many small forwards we need. I was happy enough with replacing Walters a few years down the line tbh - now Schultz is gone too.

I firmly believe that amongst group of forwards we had last year there’s one or two that could increase their number of goals by 0.5 a game. That combined with some scoring contribution from the midfield (other than Brayshaw - he’s already doing it), then I think we’ve almost bridged the gap in scoring.
I like your idea but personally I think degoey is very overrated
Jackson is our impact player if we need to mix up the centre square.
Jackson ave 15d 1 goal in 2023
He’s only young
Hopefully move to 18d 1.5g ave for 2024
 
Just checked for interest average age and games for our teams:
final game 2012 - 25.4, 96 games
final game 2023 - 24.3, 71 games

(and Schultz probably turns into Simpson)

Interesting argument. Given we will be fielding a very similar team in 24 to the end of 23 (sans Schultz but plus Fyfe, and other tit for tat selections).

Then assumedly our games played + experience for the final game of 2024 will look very similar to the to the final game of 2012, a year where we were 10 points off a preliminary final.

I think you’ve inadvertently proven my point that we’re very close to the ideal window, albeit on the young side of it - and should be expecting performance to reflect that.
 
Best 22 breakdown:

Defenders -

Alex Pearce (C) - 28 years, 108 games
Luke Ryan - 28 years, 132 games
Brennan Cox - 25 years, 102 games
Jordan Clark - 23 years, 79 games
Heath Chapman - 22 years, 26 games
Neil Wagner - 26 years, 28 games

Rotating through -

Brandon Walker - 21 years 49 games
Ethan Hughes - 29 years, 101 games
Oscar McDonald - 27 years, 86 games
Ollie Murphy - debutant

This group is anchored by senior, experienced players who have played a lot of footy together, solid mature age recruits filling in the gaps, while the youngest players in Chapman and Walker have already played a good amount of footy and shown tremendous talent in their roles. Our backline has been the cornerstone of the team for years, and reclaimed their trademark in the backend of 2023 after a shaky start. There is no reason not to think they will be a rock for us again.

Midfield/Ruck -

Sean Darcy - 25 years, 98 games
Luke Jackson (R/F) - 22 years, 75 games
Andrew Brayshaw - 24 years, 123 games
Caleb Serong - 23 years, 80 games
Hayden Young - 22 years, 57 games
Nathan Fyfe - 32 years, 218 games
Jaeger O/Meara - 29 years, 164 games

Rotating through/wings -

Will Brodie - 25 years, 54 games
James Aish - 28 years, 163 games
Matt Johnson - 20 years, 18 games
Neil Erasmus - 20 years, 19 games
Nathan O'Driscoll - 21 years, 22 games
Jeremy Sharp- 22 years, 23 games
Cooper Simpson - debutant

The core of this group is absolutely premiership ready. This group is made up of star young players who are now emerging into the primes of their careers between the 75-150 games mark. A superstar ruck duo, both of whom are in AA calculations when healthy, hitting down to an AA duo, with the recently repositioned Hayden Young who could be a better pure mid than them both. Anchoring the group are strong big-bodied veterans, with our injury prone dual Brownlow medalist being a wildcard of sorts due to his injury status. With or without Fyfe I would say this is a prime midfield group but a properly fit and healthy Fyfe adds to a tantalizing mix.
On the fringes are highly talented youngsters spearheaded by the classy Matt Johnson and desperate to prove himself Neil Erasmus, but due to the depth we have in there they are the cream not the cake.

Forwards

Matt Taberner - 30 years, 120 games
Jye Amiss - 20 years, 25 games
Michael Walters - 33 years, 222 games
Sam Sturt - 23 years, 18 games
Sam Switkowski - 27 years, 68 games
Michael Frederick - 23 years, 58 games

Rotating through -

Luke Jackson (R/F) - 22 years, 75 games
Bailey Banfield - 25 years, 75 games
Josh Treacy - 21 years, 36 games
Tom Emmett - 22 years, 2 games
Jack Delean - 18 years, debutant

Whilst the biggest mixed bag of all our positions, our forwardline is still anchored by experienced heads (Tabs, Walters), with now games-experienced senior players (Switta, Banfield). The fact that the most exciting and talented of our forwards (bar Sonny) come from the youngest group (Amiss, Jackson, Treacy, Sturt) is only a positive for the future of the forwardline but surrounded by experience right now, and with the supply they should be getting from an elite midfield group, they have the tools to perform in 2024.



The external perception of Fremantle in 2024 is off. Coming off a bad year, people will continue to expect you to be bad. Richmond were expected to be bottom 4 in 2017 coming off 2016, but people didn't take into account where that list was really at. And there are many more examples where that came from.

Assuming Justin Longmuir is a good coach and the right man for us, there is no reason not to expect big things from him to lead a core group of players who are either in their prime or entering their prime, and supported by a smattering of extremely talented youngsters. Our list is now in the space where rather than relying on our 18-21 year olds for core performance, as rebuilding teams do, they are now the cherry on top, as is usually the case for the best teams in the comp. This Fremantle team is actually driven by a core of 23 - 27 year olds who have played a lot of footy together and built chemistry together over a number of years.

So I don't see fighting for the 8 and finishing 10th as a good year, in fact I don't see scraping into the 8 and getting blasted out in the first week of finals as a good year. This team has the capacity to be competing at the top end. If we struggle again in 2024, then we do not have the right people in charge of Fremantle and we will be wasting a prime opportunity.



We're $12 to make top 4, $4.50 to make the 8, and $1.05 to miss top 4. The bookies certainly don't share you're vision but I love your optimism.

The $4.50 to make the 8 is massive overs IMO. Should be about $2.70.
 
Interesting argument. Given we will be fielding a very similar team in 24 to the end of 23 (sans Schultz but plus Fyfe, and other tit for tat selections).

Then assumedly our games played + experience for the final game of 2024 will look very similar to the to the final game of 2012, a year where we were 10 points off a preliminary final.

I think you’ve inadvertently proven my point that we’re very close to the ideal window, albeit on the young side of it - and should be expecting performance to reflect that.
We're about 20 games short of the window, ie ready for next season.

It COULD happen this year but you shouldn't EXPECT it to based on history. Which is the obvious answer to your question.
 
Why we won't be?

Ok, we have the cattle or close to adequate b22 list, injury depending.

The key will be whether we have an easily identifiable, and implemented, game plan. I know what Collingwood's game plan was last year, in Richmond's premiership years, their strategy was clear.

I have no idea what our game plan was last year, unless plan was to play slow and eventually bomb to forwards that didn't lead at the ball carrier.
 
I actually think the biggest reason we won't make Top 4 is not our forwards or our mids, but our backline. In particular:

(1) Too many fitness concerns around the key players that the backline rely on. Pearce and Cox both have some ??? whilst Chapman who may play back part of the time has hamstring injuries. Take players out of the forward line or mids and there is someone around that you can argue is up for the fight. Take Pearce or Cox out and it what we have left looks really fragile to defend tall forward lines (I suspect if this happens then Luke Ryan becomes a pseudo key defender again).

(2) Cox (whilst have been really good in 2022) was well out of form in 2023 despite coming in with better fitness and I don't see him looking raring to go this year either. He is probably the most critical piece to the backline. When on form he is both taking marks and setting up goals from defence going the other way and he contributes massively to the results of 2022. However if he gets taken away from the play like he did heaps of time in 2023 then we massively lose defensive and offensive power and will lose out as a team. IMO Clubs will focus on taking him and Clark out of the equation.

(3) Slow ineffective ball movement - this not only hurts us offensively but also allows opposition to put more and more pressure on our defence. Already in the pre-season I think we can say that there are not good signs from the intra-club matches. I am not saying this is something that intrinsically wrong with the personnel but you have to have the bravery to keep taking the game on. Chapman and Walker are among some of our best offensive backmen, but they are also the ones with the biggest ??? fitness wise. Wagner is a confidence player and he can easily lose confidence in attempting to make a kick or take the opposition on. It all allows opposition to tag Clark out of being able to provide offensive moves.
Point 3 is completely and totally on the coach. If this is a factor holding us back from finals in 2024 (I agree with your points by the way), shouldnt be held accountable? I think that’s Fat Nyfe main point actually?
We were arguably the most boring team in the entire comp to watch last year. I could deal with that if we were winning, but we were also bottom 5 most of the season.
At least in the old days when Fremantle were shit they were still entertaining to watch. We didn’t even have that anymore in 2023. It HAS to change this year.
 
Interesting argument. Given we will be fielding a very similar team in 24 to the end of 23 (sans Schultz but plus Fyfe, and other tit for tat selections).

Then assumedly our games played + experience for the final game of 2024 will look very similar to the to the final game of 2012, a year where we were 10 points off a preliminary final.

I think you’ve inadvertently proven my point that we’re very close to the ideal window, albeit on the young side of it - and should be expecting performance to reflect that.
Nicely done cutting off my other point about the GF teams both having over 135 games experience avg, but anyway.

i know you want to believe and that’s great, it’s just not supported by any statistical or empirical evidence.

and experience doesn’t follow straight lines. Eg
carlton round 1 - 91games, PF 99games experience.
freo went from 81 to 71
Sydney 107 to 118

we should improve this year pending injuries. bUT our KPD depth is poor, tall forwards are really young, we lost Schultz, unproven wings and our emerging mids are still a bit green. yeah, it sucks and it’s annoying but players need to mature before we really contend.
 
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There is no excuse to miss the finals. I don't think we will finish top four, but hope we do!

My reasons for not finishing top four:

Depth in the small forward position. I am hoping Simpson kicks 20 goals this season and Feddy takes a leap. If that happens we are flying.

Our starts - we can't continue to play fight back, drag ourselves back into the game football. We have no evidence that has changed and our captain historically has been a nervy first quarter player. Longmuir mentioned on SEN with Hase that they are trying a lot of things to change it. Fingers crossed.

Skills out of defence. A lot will rest on Jordy this season. If chappy can come back and play he will help (depressing situation).

These are things we can continue to struggle with (will need some improvement on last season) and finish in the top eight. We can't carry them to a top four finish.
 
I like your idea but personally I think degoey is very overrated
Jackson is our impact player if we need to mix up the centre square.
Jackson ave 15d 1 goal in 2023
He’s only young
Hopefully move to 18d 1.5g ave for 2024
Doesn't rate matter if you rate De Goey or not. We lack his type of player.

Jackson with always be playing forward and ruck. He might play midfield as well.

We need someone who's primarily a midfielder that can go forward and kick goals
 
Just checked for interest average age and games for our teams:
final game 2012 - 25.4, 96 games
final game 2023 - 24.3, 71 games

(and Schultz probably turns into Simpson)

the junior GF team last year was 26.9 years old with 136 games average. Collingwood was older with a couple more games.

Please, please, please temper expectations of players and the coach.
Melbourne 2021 GF, 102 games apiece.
Average GF winner over 2 decades according to Pierik at The Age, 126 matches.
Suggesting we could/should be opening the window this year...for 2025.

How about, in 2024...
Should make Finals...
Could go top four?

Early indicators...
Win first two rounds!
Good starts!

Need to win the Injury Lotto and keep our best on the park.

YOKAI!
 

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