Fremantle is a serious team and some may say it needed to get a serious coach. Enter Ross Lyon. If Kevin Rudd was fair dinkum in wanting to regain power and take the reins from Julia, he should’ve called good old Rossy – the expert in taking.
After five seasons and three grand final appearances with St Kilda, Lyon and the Fremantle Dockers big wigs executed off one of the best-kept secrets in sports – even Ross’ management team didn’t even know.
The move replacing Harvey with Lyon was seen as a coup, provided optimism and will potentially revive the Dockers.
Fremantle has several elite level players. Pav, McPharlin, Barlow, Broughton and Sandilands with Fyfe and Mundy just on the outer but definate to walk into that circle.
2011 was a disappointing year with the expectations they held however they were injury plagued. Fremantle finished 2011 in 11th position with nine wins and 13 losses.
Pavlich won his sixth club best and fairest to go along with his successes in 2002, ’05, ’06, ’07 and ’08. The men in the assorted colours saw differently, awarding the second-year Fyfe with 13 Brownlow votes – Pav, only nine.
Putting injuries to the side for the time being, Fremantle need to improve and focus on two areas in 2012. Firstly, they need a big presence up forward – in short, they severely lack a forward. Bradley and Mayne were lead goalkickers last year with 25 each, Ballantyne next with 23, Pavlich booted home 21 and Fyfe contributed 18.
To combat this, Ross Lyon should position both Bradley and Pavlich up forward – permanently. Let the young guys and the solid midfielders play their game, Pavlich will continue to rack up numbers. If he has no one to kick to inside the 50 then 2012 will be a repeat of 2011, ’10, ’09 and so on and so on.
Fremantle has a reasonable easy schedule compared to Collingwood – they host the Cats in round one and face off against the Blues in round five at Patersons Stadium.
In 2012, the Dockers have several notable milestones including McPharlin’s 200th, Mundy’s 150th, and Fyfe and Suban will both notch up 50 games.
Several players I have placed a watch tag on are Viv Michie, Mzungu, Neale, Silvagni, Suban and Walters.
After finishing 2011 off with seven straight losses, the Dockers must get off to a fast start. With a fit and healthy list, Fremantle is a genuine top eight team.
What has Ross got in store for us and Dockers’ fans?