Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe is “growing into being a leader”, according to coach Ross Lyon. (AAP: Julian Smith)
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says Nat Fyfe has become a more-dangerous player this year, with the skipper on track to replicate his 2015 Brownlow medal season.
Fyfe tallied 38 disposals, 15 clearances, seven inside 50s and kicked 1.2 in yesterday’s 28-point AFL win over Gold Coast at Optus Stadium.
Suns coach Stuart Dew said Fyfe was near unstoppable at times, with the star midfielder seemingly primed for a season to remember.
Fyfe took a long time to recover from the two broken legs that plagued his 2016 campaign and also affected his form in early 2017.
But with the 26-year-old back to his physical peak, Fremantle could become a surprise packet this season.
“I think he’s really improved his disposal, his kicking efficiency,” Lyon said.
“He’s a bit more dangerous with the ball in hand.
“He’s just doing what he does well — clearance work, contested ball work, marking it well and working hard without the ball.
“But I’m really pleased that he’s growing into being a leader. It’s not easy to be a leader of an AFL club, and an AFL club that’s transitioning a list.”
Sweating on Sandilands
Fremantle are 2-1 after wins over Essendon and Gold Coast, but their progress will be put to the test next week against GWS in Canberra.
The Dockers might be without ruckman Aaron Sandilands, who is on report for a high bump on Jarryd Lyons.
If Sandilands is rubbed out, Fremantle have a ready-made replacement in Sean Darcy, after impressing last season in his eight games.
The Dockers dominated Gold Coast in most of the key stats, and Alex Pearce kept star forward Tom Lynch to just one goal.
Pearce missed almost two years after suffering two separate fractures in his right leg.
But he has returned this season in stunning fashion.
He limited Charlie Dixon to one major in Fremantle’s heavy round-one loss to Port, before keeping Joe Daniher goalless the following week.
Lynch’s only goal on Saturday came from a free kick that was given away by Sandilands.