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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Freo on the radar for 2024 finals return

Former Docker Brad Wira believes there is scope for Fremantle to make the top 8 in 2024 after missing out last season. 

Fremantle put on a strong showing against West Coast on Saturday evening, smashing their crosstown rivals by 52 points with plenty of outstanding performances around the field. 

Reportedly, Fremantle have been through one of their most intense preseasons to date, showing their hunger to make it back into the eight after dropping out last season, finishing 14th. 

Wira told Sports Breakfast it will be a “slow build” but a finals berth is possible. 

“It's very difficult to maintain and play finals year on year. They had an outstanding year in the year before last, coming fifth,” he said. 

“There have been some players leave. What does that open? It opens opportunity - remembering that Fremantle has had significant early picks that are now starting to get experience. I'm talking Johnson, Erasmus and Co, who are early draft picks, Jye Amiss. We forget that.

“It will be, as their CEO said, a slow build, and I know through a decade out there, I don't think it's that long. Do I see Fremantle making it back into the top eight? I think they're seventh or eighth, I do.” 

Fremantle’s forward line kicked 14.14.98 over the weekend, with Jye Amiss booting three majors. Luke Jackson, Michael Walters and Josh Treacy each contributed two goals of their own.

In previous years Fremantle have struggled with the forward line, however, the line-up including Amiss off the back of a stellar season looks far stronger.  

While Freo has the star power up forward, Wira believes Freo will need to move the ball to them more efficiently to create these opportunities. 

“I think they've got the talent there. It's just got to get there quick enough and don't allow these defensive teams to get back, taking a risk and I think the coach has spoken about this, that they'll be more offensive,” he said.

“They were a little bit stagnant and crossfield a little bit last year. I think we'll see a bit more, not exciting, but a bit more take the game on. Hard to judge last week against West Coast, whether they did that or not against the opposition. 

“We'll see a bit more take the game on from Fremantle. Then over to Amiss, we've seen Amiss pick 40-odd goals as a genuine rookie. I think with the two ruckmen, with Jackson and Darcy down there. Was there a target there? Yeah, I think there is.” 

Nat Fyfe was excellent during the preseason clash, managing two periods unscathed before he was managed during the second half. 

Wira believes Freo will have to be “smarter” in how they manage Fyfe going into 2024. 

“It's probably a little bit different with Nathan because you'd be so keen to just play and get out and play. That's going to be the hard part,” he said.

"He's just that big-ball midfielder, which as we get older, it's harder to do. All reports is that he's trimmed down. He's fit as he's ever been but so are every other player on the list that's fit. 

“How would I manage him? I'm still playing midfield, forward, predominantly midfield, but you're going to have to manage his time, otherwise, he's going back down again.”

IMAGE: Code Sports


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