Analysis What does Freo have to change to win a Premiership?

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heavho

Club Legend
Dec 22, 2005
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We did have to change the coach. Ross is quality defensive coach but this day in age it is an attacking,fast passed,skillful game and as a defensive coach it can only get you so far. So we need an attacking coach with a modern day footy brain.

We need a quality ruckman now that sandi is done. Darcy is injury prone/doesn’t have the tank to compete with the best.

We have the fire power in the forward line and the defense is a strong group.

The middle is the key (needs a revamp). We need to replace brad hill and Langdon with quality ball users with pace. With the picks we get from them hopefully it gives us the leverage we need to get the players we need. If we can add 3 quality mids we can have the quality midfield we need.
 

apuchar

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Sep 21, 2010
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In a nutshell
Finals looked achievable before injuries hit hard and it all fell apart. Fans were ready to move on from the Ross Lyon era and the board agreed, axing the club's longest-serving coach and CEO Steve Rosich to herald a fresh start.
What we said in the pre-season
Tipped the rebuilding Dockers to finish 13th and that's where they landed, with their lack of depth exposed after the bye. Predicting Jesse Hogan to be the recruit of the year didn't quite work out, and his career could hinge on successful navicular surgery and rehabilitation. Picking Nat Fyfe for his second Brownlow was a no-brainer and the superstar skipper will be right in the mix.



What worked
Sonny's midfield exposure

After losing Lachie Neale, the Dockers needed Michael Walters to help fill the breach and he was magnificent, averaging 21.8 disposals while still kicking 40 goals to deservedly earn his first Virgin Australia AFL All Australian blazer.
An unexpected ruck
Rory Lobb picked Freo over West Coast partly to play in attack but it was in the middle where the Dockers got the most out of him. With Sean Darcy's name raised in trade speculation, could Lobb be the No.1 ruck in 2020?
Matera's mindset
Knuckled down over pre-season in a bid not to waste his career. Kicked 24 goals in his first 11 games before fading. Something to build upon.

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What failed
Ross Lyon's gamestyle

Questions about the culture and staff burnout lingered but the direction of the rebuild was also concerning. Fans had tired of the attritional, defensive brand Freo reverted to once injuries hit and the lack of skill development.
Injury management
There is no denying injuries cruelled the Dockers, with Stephen Hill, Jesse Hogan, Alex Pearce, Matt Taberner and Harley Bennell among the quality personnel sidelined for long periods.
Stalled development
Again, injuries didn't help in some cases, but it's hard to argue key youngsters Adam Cerra, Sean Darcy, Griffin Logue, Brennan Cox or Connor Blakely took major strides forward in 2019. Andy Brayshaw was a tick.

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Overall rating
C.
Improved to nine wins and generally competed but ultimately blew the chance to play finals.
The coach
The jungle drums became louder and louder about Ross Lyon's future as the season wore on, amid speculation about other coaching jobs and Freo's refusal to extend his contract beyond 2020. The board already knew Lyon wasn't the man to take them forward, but missing finals for a fourth-straight year gave them impetus to act swiftly and brutally to remove him after round 22.



MVP
Nat Fyfe
: You could mount a strong argument for Walters after his match-winning feats, but Fyfe's consistent greatness gets him over the line. He could join elite company by winning his second Brownlow Medal in a matter of weeks.
Surprise packet
Darcy Tucker:
Had been on the fringes for three seasons but cemented a spot through the middle and half-forward and showed plenty, averaging 19.1 disposals and kicking 10 goals.



Get excited
Luke Ryan:
Would have been an All Australian contender if he didn't ping a hamstring in round 19. The emerging defender is tough, a beautiful kick and excellent overhead. The Dockers must do everything possible to re-sign him beyond 2020.
Disappointment
Stephen Hill:
If there's a team that can't afford to have their best ball user sidelined it's the Dockers, and Hill managed just three games with more soft-tissue woes. Fremantle must get him right to offset the likely departure of brother Bradley.
Best win
Round five: Greater Western Sydney 11.16 (82) d by. Fremantle 16.10 (106)

Snapping the Giants' nine-game streak in Canberra was a huge upset, even if beating Brisbane and Collingwood were more dramatic wins. Freo's improved ball movement and potent forward line was everything supporters crave.



h


Highlights: GWS v Fremantle
Best individual performance
Michael Walters: Round 10 v Brisbane at Optus Stadium

Take your pick from any of Walters' performances against the Lions, Pies or Power during his mid-season purple patch. The Brisbane game - when he had 25 touches and kicked two goals, plus the match-winning behind - was a stunning finale to Sir Doug Nicholls Round and revived Freo's season.




Incredible scenes as Walters wins it after siren
Low point
Sacking the coach and CEO is never a sign things are going swimmingly. This is the chance to hit the refresh button on and off the field.
The big questions
Who will the next coach (and CEO) be?
Can the Dockers land Tim Kelly and what will it cost?
Will Alex Pearce, Jesse Hogan, Stephen Hill and Matt Taberner overcome serious repeat injury concerns?
Season in a movie title
Executive Decision
Who's done?
Retirements:
Aaron Sandilands.
Delistings:
Hayden Ballantyne, Harley Bennell, Shane Kersten.
Unsigned free agents:
Ryan Nyhuis.




Freo give a new look to being chaired off
How should they approach trade and draft period?
With an open mind. If Tim Kelly is willing to come, then go and get him. Use every bit of leverage to extract maximum value from Bradley Hill's departure, and take a serious look at top under-18s talent – especially WA guns Luke Jackson and Deven Robertson – while ensuring enough draft points to secure Next Generation Academy star Liam Henry.
Early call for 2020
So much depends on injuries. The Dockers' top 25 players form the nucleus of a very competitive squad, but depth is a major issue. If the new coach demands better skills, implements a more balanced gamestyle and has his best talent fit then Fremantle can play finals.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs
 

FreoGirl

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 13, 2002
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Perth
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East Freo, The Abbotsford Anglers
In a nutshell
Finals looked achievable before injuries hit hard and it all fell apart. Fans were ready to move on from the Ross Lyon era and the board agreed, axing the club's longest-serving coach and CEO Steve Rosich to herald a fresh start.
What we said in the pre-season
Tipped the rebuilding Dockers to finish 13th and that's where they landed, with their lack of depth exposed after the bye. Predicting Jesse Hogan to be the recruit of the year didn't quite work out, and his career could hinge on successful navicular surgery and rehabilitation. Picking Nat Fyfe for his second Brownlow was a no-brainer and the superstar skipper will be right in the mix.



What worked
Sonny's midfield exposure

After losing Lachie Neale, the Dockers needed Michael Walters to help fill the breach and he was magnificent, averaging 21.8 disposals while still kicking 40 goals to deservedly earn his first Virgin Australia AFL All Australian blazer.
An unexpected ruck
Rory Lobb picked Freo over West Coast partly to play in attack but it was in the middle where the Dockers got the most out of him. With Sean Darcy's name raised in trade speculation, could Lobb be the No.1 ruck in 2020?
Matera's mindset
Knuckled down over pre-season in a bid not to waste his career. Kicked 24 goals in his first 11 games before fading. Something to build upon.

See AFL's other Tweets


What failed
Ross Lyon's gamestyle

Questions about the culture and staff burnout lingered but the direction of the rebuild was also concerning. Fans had tired of the attritional, defensive brand Freo reverted to once injuries hit and the lack of skill development.
Injury management
There is no denying injuries cruelled the Dockers, with Stephen Hill, Jesse Hogan, Alex Pearce, Matt Taberner and Harley Bennell among the quality personnel sidelined for long periods.
Stalled development
Again, injuries didn't help in some cases, but it's hard to argue key youngsters Adam Cerra, Sean Darcy, Griffin Logue, Brennan Cox or Connor Blakely took major strides forward in 2019. Andy Brayshaw was a tick.

See AFL's other Tweets


Overall rating
C.
Improved to nine wins and generally competed but ultimately blew the chance to play finals.
The coach
The jungle drums became louder and louder about Ross Lyon's future as the season wore on, amid speculation about other coaching jobs and Freo's refusal to extend his contract beyond 2020. The board already knew Lyon wasn't the man to take them forward, but missing finals for a fourth-straight year gave them impetus to act swiftly and brutally to remove him after round 22.



MVP
Nat Fyfe
: You could mount a strong argument for Walters after his match-winning feats, but Fyfe's consistent greatness gets him over the line. He could join elite company by winning his second Brownlow Medal in a matter of weeks.
Surprise packet
Darcy Tucker:
Had been on the fringes for three seasons but cemented a spot through the middle and half-forward and showed plenty, averaging 19.1 disposals and kicking 10 goals.



Get excited
Luke Ryan:
Would have been an All Australian contender if he didn't ping a hamstring in round 19. The emerging defender is tough, a beautiful kick and excellent overhead. The Dockers must do everything possible to re-sign him beyond 2020.
Disappointment
Stephen Hill:
If there's a team that can't afford to have their best ball user sidelined it's the Dockers, and Hill managed just three games with more soft-tissue woes. Fremantle must get him right to offset the likely departure of brother Bradley.
Best win
Round five: Greater Western Sydney 11.16 (82) d by. Fremantle 16.10 (106)

Snapping the Giants' nine-game streak in Canberra was a huge upset, even if beating Brisbane and Collingwood were more dramatic wins. Freo's improved ball movement and potent forward line was everything supporters crave.



h


Highlights: GWS v Fremantle
Best individual performance
Michael Walters: Round 10 v Brisbane at Optus Stadium

Take your pick from any of Walters' performances against the Lions, Pies or Power during his mid-season purple patch. The Brisbane game - when he had 25 touches and kicked two goals, plus the match-winning behind - was a stunning finale to Sir Doug Nicholls Round and revived Freo's season.




Incredible scenes as Walters wins it after siren
Low point
Sacking the coach and CEO is never a sign things are going swimmingly. This is the chance to hit the refresh button on and off the field.
The big questions
Who will the next coach (and CEO) be?
Can the Dockers land Tim Kelly and what will it cost?
Will Alex Pearce, Jesse Hogan, Stephen Hill and Matt Taberner overcome serious repeat injury concerns?
Season in a movie title
Executive Decision
Who's done?
Retirements:
Aaron Sandilands.
Delistings:
Hayden Ballantyne, Harley Bennell, Shane Kersten.
Unsigned free agents:
Ryan Nyhuis.




Freo give a new look to being chaired off
How should they approach trade and draft period?
With an open mind. If Tim Kelly is willing to come, then go and get him. Use every bit of leverage to extract maximum value from Bradley Hill's departure, and take a serious look at top under-18s talent – especially WA guns Luke Jackson and Deven Robertson – while ensuring enough draft points to secure Next Generation Academy star Liam Henry.
Early call for 2020
So much depends on injuries. The Dockers' top 25 players form the nucleus of a very competitive squad, but depth is a major issue. If the new coach demands better skills, implements a more balanced gamestyle and has his best talent fit then Fremantle can play finals.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs
Would love to know which fans they spoke to. Most of the noise in the media was WCE driven
 

Scham

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 19, 2004
14,146
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Fremantle
Would love to know which fans they spoke to. Most of the noise in the media was WCE driven
I highly doubt it would have been talkback callers that they’re referring to.

It would’ve been supporters. At the games, people they know, family, friends, sponsors, work mates, etc etc. They don’t sit in a concrete office all day with no interaction with the public.
 

FreoGirl

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 13, 2002
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East Freo, The Abbotsford Anglers
I highly doubt it would have been talkback callers that they’re referring to.

It would’ve been supporters. At the games, people they know, family, friends, sponsors, work mates, etc etc. They don’t sit in a concrete office all day with no interaction with the public.
But it was far from unanimous
 

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Monument Hills

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Dec 12, 2017
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I hope we don't sell the farm for Kelly but instead get in Henry, and the two best West Aussie draftees (Robertson, Taylor, Jackson?), plus the best WAs of the rest when our picks come up. Build a new midfield from the ground up of talent that is going nowhere east except to play away games. I'm not liking myself for saying this but I know Sumich would do this without question. JLo - not too sure.
 
Last edited:

summerthebat

Club Legend
Apr 8, 2007
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Teenage Mountain
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Fremantle
Soz, long post

I want to see the club take a greater view of a sustainable strategy rather than immediate success, given the impatience of many because of our miserable history.

Ambitions and 'five year plans' of success, with ultimatums like Lyon & Rosich just had where they had to make finals this year, creates irrational list management and narrower 'windows'.

It requires patience and making the best decision for the long term future for the club.

We have a crippling depth problem at the moment, because we were unwillingly forced into a rebuild just because winning was not possible entering the 2016 season. We could only deal with that rebuild in the off-season of that year. So after a few years of recruiting and drafting we've assembled a list, with a good 15 players that are still inadequate and unlikely to make an AFL career for themselves. Despite this, Alcock sends the members a letter at the start of the year declaring that the 'Rebuild is Complete'.

Just because we rebuilt, doesn't mean it was done correctly. Unfortunately for us, it wasn't.

In order to make a robust list, that's capable of winning a premiership, that right decision needs to be made every time and being prepared to cop bad luck on the chin.

Although I hate the contracts and recruitment of players like Shane Kersten & Travis Colyer, decisions like that brought us Rory Lobb, Joel Hamling, Nathan Wilson, Brad Hill & Brandon Matera. Offering mid-ranged draft picks for WA players is a strategy that will further strengthen our list and sustain it.

However, pushing all-in on a broken down Jesse Hogan, with dubious off-field behaviours, because the club felt external pressures of needing a key-forward and simultaneously misreading what was a very strong draft..... well that's the wrong decision. We make that 100 times, we'll be a long way behind.

We absolutely did the right thing by having Weller & Neale still contract and dealing them when they were, because you can gain multiple assets to prepare you for the future. If we had Weller & Neale in 2019 we still would have missed the finals, because our depth was garbage.

Having depth covers the inevitable movements like Langdon & Brad Hill departing, we should have at least 2-3 players in every position that are poised to come through.

Optimistically we have a very good 17-22 players who are mostly in a young age bracket that will support us for another 5-8 years. Pessimistically however, I can't see enough depth coming through that will catch up to the prime of Fyfe & Walters. If we stay injury free we'll play finals the next two years, but recent history has told us that we wont...
 

Bastyy

All Australian
Sep 18, 2015
807
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For me

1. Get the RIGHT coach
Whether it's JLo, Sumich, Woosha or whoever we need to pick the best coach. Clarko wasn't originally the overwhelming favourite for the Hawks job when he got it. If an Ash Hansen/Jarrod Schofield/Steven King can prove they've got what it takes to be the next big coach, then pick them. Don't let the media or external people influence who we pick

2. Don't bust the trade period
Either get acceptable depth (Acres, Powell-Pepper, Starcevich, Guelfi etc), go for a bigger fish (Tim Kelly, Zac Fisher, SPS, Gus Brayshaw, Shai Bolton) or get a lot of draft picks (4 or 5 in the Top 20 and 1 or 2 in the 20-50 range). A failure in the trade period would be Pick 5 and A Future 1st from the Saints and Pick 20 from Melbourne for Hill and Langdon.

3. Target some outside depth
If we end up in the draft with only 2 picks in the Top 20 spend at least one on Sharp or Stephens. Some acceptable blokes in the later parts of the draft (Josh Shute, Miles Bergman, Matt Nunn, Ryan Sparkes, Angus Hanrahan, Regan Clarke).

4. Sign up blokes long term
We can't afford to lose Andy, Cerra, Darcy, Tucker, Carter, Dixon, Ryan. These are blokes that aren't on the longest contracts that should be part of our next premiership push

5. Replace poor depth
Blokes like Crowden, Giro, Schultz, Colyer and Duman aren't gonna make it. I'm bullish on blokes like North, Bewley and Watson to improve over the next few years.

6. Better drafting
Hindsight is 20/20 but blokes like Flynn Appleby, Liam Baker, Joel Amartey etc would look better on our list than Scott Jones or Tommy North. Dillon O'Reilly was also a bit of a mid season draft blunder. Would have been better off with a Tristan Hobley, Frank Anderson, Cody Hirst, Marlion Pickett who could have come into our squad late in the season compared to a bloke who would probably be available in this years rookie draft.

7. Assistants
No other coach in the AFL would wanna work with some of the assistants we have. Clean em all out. Target some state league fellas (Todd Curley, Josh Carr, Leigh Adams) and go for someone like Ash Hansen to up our offensive systems
 

Patty_Moz

Club Legend
Aug 8, 2011
1,156
609
Perth
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Fremantle
1) Assess the “hardness” of the Cockburn surface and potentially Optus as well.
2) New coach and new assistants.
3) Assess the S&C team and program and some changes must be implemented.
4) Better drafting and player development particularly forwards.
5) More balanced gameplan with elements of attack, defence and skills.
6) New CEO.
7) Stop chasing bit part players from other teams not many of them have made a difference.

Fix all those things and we’re half a chance.
 

Fat Nyfe

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 18, 2012
5,499
9,405
Melbourne
AFL Club
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Soz, long post

I want to see the club take a greater view of a sustainable strategy rather than immediate success, given the impatience of many because of our miserable history.

Ambitions and 'five year plans' of success, with ultimatums like Lyon & Rosich just had where they had to make finals this year, creates irrational list management and narrower 'windows'.

It requires patience and making the best decision for the long term future for the club.

We have a crippling depth problem at the moment, because we were unwillingly forced into a rebuild just because winning was not possible entering the 2016 season. We could only deal with that rebuild in the off-season of that year. So after a few years of recruiting and drafting we've assembled a list, with a good 15 players that are still inadequate and unlikely to make an AFL career for themselves. Despite this, Alcock sends the members a letter at the start of the year declaring that the 'Rebuild is Complete'.

Just because we rebuilt, doesn't mean it was done correctly. Unfortunately for us, it wasn't.

In order to make a robust list, that's capable of winning a premiership, that right decision needs to be made every time and being prepared to cop bad luck on the chin.

Although I hate the contracts and recruitment of players like Shane Kersten & Travis Colyer, decisions like that brought us Rory Lobb, Joel Hamling, Nathan Wilson, Brad Hill & Brandon Matera. Offering mid-ranged draft picks for WA players is a strategy that will further strengthen our list and sustain it.

However, pushing all-in on a broken down Jesse Hogan, with dubious off-field behaviours, because the club felt external pressures of needing a key-forward and simultaneously misreading what was a very strong draft..... well that's the wrong decision. We make that 100 times, we'll be a long way behind.

We absolutely did the right thing by having Weller & Neale still contract and dealing them when they were, because you can gain multiple assets to prepare you for the future. If we had Weller & Neale in 2019 we still would have missed the finals, because our depth was garbage.

Having depth covers the inevitable movements like Langdon & Brad Hill departing, we should have at least 2-3 players in every position that are poised to come through.

Optimistically we have a very good 17-22 players who are mostly in a young age bracket that will support us for another 5-8 years. Pessimistically however, I can't see enough depth coming through that will catch up to the prime of Fyfe & Walters. If we stay injury free we'll play finals the next two years, but recent history has told us that we wont...
Good points. I think the key is not to make shortsighted decisions right now based on impatience for success and an inaccurate view that the ‘rebuild is complete’. We have a good top 20-22 players on the young side of their prime and if we attack this draft with the strong WA talent in it from draft picks we can get for Langdon and Hill, we can really improve our depth and set the club up for some sustained success.
 

theGav56

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Oct 11, 2004
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Your club had to make only 3 changes, I said this about 6 months back...sack Lyon, Rosich and hire Peter Sumich as coach and you will win a flag within years.
I started this rumour and it grew some legs, no club in their right mind would hire him as senior coach ? could be getting a gig developing at West Coast at best.
Smells funny.
 

AstonSouffle

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May 11, 2014
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How about actually engage with the media and become more open and inviting?

Yes Channel 7 are complete twats to Freo, but likely means ithey're just as bad the other way.
 

go_the_dockers

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I wonder how we would look with 3 or 4 quick forwards who can all tackle , Mark and kick a goal.

Sturt, Henry, plus 2 more.

That and better depth and we should play finals.
 

Scham

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 19, 2004
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I wonder how we would look with 3 or 4 quick forwards who can all tackle , Mark and kick a goal.

Sturt, Henry, plus 2 more.

That and better depth and we should play finals.
Yep, we’ve been sadly lacking in that area. That’s the missing ingredient imo. Henry will be welcomed but probably won’t be ready for a while. If we can get Flanders or Stephens in the draft to go along with him it’d do the job. Otherwise entice Bolton to come home.
 

PurpleReign95

Senior List
Feb 22, 2016
152
235
AFL Club
Fremantle
Things we need
1. Improved skills-> pretty obvious, our skill level is average, under RTB there wasn’t a premium on skills. Starts at training.
2. Improved development-> Players like Blakely, Brayshaw, Cerra and Tucker need to take another step. Sturt and Carter need to continue to improve and cement themselves as AFL players. Valente, North and Watson need to improve to stay on the list.
Squad players like Duman, Hughes and Swita need to minimise their mistakes or learn to kick goals.
3. Better injury luck (and diagnosis)-> Old mate Webber and his team could improve 100%. Lobb and Hogan ‘miss diagnosed’. S Hill continued soft tissue issues. Injury setbacks.
4. Improved Squad depth-> Because of our injuries our squad depth was tested and it is to quote RTB ‘thin’. Players like Banners, Giro, Schultz and Crowden aren’t up to AFL level, and are essentially B Grade Bullies.
5. Good lock down small defended-> Wilson may move up to the wing (with the departure of Landgon and Hill) Ryan should be played as a roll off defender. We have never had a good quality lock down small defender. I thought Nyhuis could be the guy (but he got delisted) Old mate Spurr was always chasing tail, and it always seems like a small fwds take us to town. Could Conca reinvent himself as a lock down small defender or even forgotten man Trav Colyer (long shot)
6. Two fast wingers that can hit a i50 target-> With Hill on his way out the door we need to replace him. Does that mean that S Hill goes to a wing and slims down? Landgon on the other hand might not be as bad a departure, as he was a butcher with the ball especially going i50.
7. The team going into 2020

B: Ryan Hamling Logue

HB: Hughes Pearce Wilson

C: S Hill Walters Cerra

HF: Tucker Tabs Sturt

F: Matera Hogan Lobb

R: Darcy Fyfe Brayshaw

INT: Blakely Cox Mundy Conca

EMG: Henry Carter Switta Duman Cam Mac
 

Scham

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 19, 2004
14,146
9,602
AFL Club
Fremantle
7. The team going into 2020

B: Ryan Hamling Logue

HB: Hughes Pearce Wilson

C: S Hill Walters Cerra

HF: Tucker Tabs Sturt

F: Matera Hogan Lobb

R: Darcy Fyfe Brayshaw

INT: Blakely Cox Mundy Conca

EMG: Henry Carter Switta Duman Cam Mac

I'd have Duman or Carter in for either Logue or Hughes. If we've got both AP and Hamling in, then we only need one other tall.

And, if we've got Tabs, Hogan, Lobb and Darcy, then we don't need Cox too imo. Henry, Carter or hopefully a top 6 draft pick in for him. Otherwise I like it.
 

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