Scoring key to Dockers improvement; Graham
Fremantle assistant coach Jaymie Graham believes the Dockers increasing their scoring power will be the key in the next phase of their development.
Justin Longmuir’s side finished 5th last year, making the finals for the first time in six seasons, beating the Western Bulldogs in an elimination final before being dumped out by Collingwood in the semifinal.
Graham said the Dockers are in position to build on their defensive foundations with some offensive flair.
“We felt we made some good inroads last year, we had 10 games where we scored over 90 points, which was a big improvement on the previous year,” Graham told Sports Breakfast.
“However, we had some games where we really struggled to score as well, and got really low scores and they were the ones we got hurt in.
“We always strive for balance in all phases of our game, the contest, defence, and offence, and they’ve got to compliment each other, but we’d definitely like to get a couple more goals on the board and challenge oppositions in that way.”
Two time Brownlow Medalist Nat Fyfe has been widely touted for a move into the forward line, but Longmuir said his time in the middle of the ground is not over yet.
“He can play in either role, and we’ve seen him play excellent footy as a midfielder and he’s learning his craft as a forward, because he hasn’t played a lot there over the years,” he said.
“With his body, fit and healthy, we think he can impact in both roles.”
The Dockers have been into some match simulation since returning from the Christmas break, with Longmuir saying the forward group was impressing.
“There’s been some guys who are performing well … Josh Tracey and [Josh] Corbett, who’s come to the club, have looked good up forward, and Jye Amiss, who we saw play some footy towards the back end of last year, he’s showing some good signs, as well as Matt Taberner,” he said.
“It’s always hard as a club and a coach, because you’re playing against each other, if our ball movement looks good it means our team defence doesn’t and vice versa.
“It’s interesting, but footy clubs these days get into match sim really early, and preparation for games early, so we’ve just been mixing teams and trying to keep them as even as possible, really.”
The Dockers preseason fixtures are now locked in, with Justin Longmuir’s side set to take on Adelaide in an unofficial practice game on February 24th before meeting Port Adelaide at Fremantle Oval in their official preseason game on March 2nd.
IMAGE: AFL Photos.