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Dockers Embracing Challenge: Eastaugh

The head of development at the Fremantle Dockers, Simon Eastaugh says he is proud of how the team has accepted the challenge of the AFL hub.

“It’s a real testament to our players and staff with how well they have adapted (to the hub). They’ve really embraced this great challenge. It’s uncommon and unfamiliar for all of us, but they’ve all shown a great attitude and got a good routine going” Eastaugh told Sports Breakfast.

“I think there will be definite benefits (from being in the hub) in the longer term as much as the short term. Any of the great teams that we’ve seen spend a great deal of time together and I think that the quicker our players get to know each other on a deeper level, they’ll be able to respect and understand each other on a level that we wouldn’t get that chance to experience back in Perth.”

Eastaugh hailed the younger Dockers players for showing leadership during the lockdown period.

“The Cerra’s, Brayshaw’s, Young’s, some of the other guys that haven’t played yet, really stood up and kept driving each other to high standards. I think that gave us an advantage when we came back that we weren’t really playing catch up when it came to our fitness and skills. From a cultural viewpoint there’s been a real shift there that our young players are not just waiting for the senior players to lead the way, they’re taking a bit of ownership of their careers.”

When asked if Dockers fans could expect to see a few more youngsters debut, Eastaugh backed the Dockers drip-feed approach to youth and keeping the experience level up across the field.

“It (the experience) is required against the quality teams we are playing against. You can’t afford to be going in too inexperienced and we need to ensure those younger players are still learning on the job as well. That’s the most important thing about getting that blend right.”

The Dockers take on the in-form Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium this Saturday at 5:40pm AWST.

Listen to the full interview below and don't forget to catch Sports Breakfast Monday to Friday from 6am.

IMAGE: Freo Dockers

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