AFL 2020: Fremantle – Five Fearless Predictions

Hank Ryan gives us his 2020 vision for the Dockers. Will it be Anchors Aweigh or Anchors Down?

2019 in a nutshell

The Dockers have a new coach, and presumably a new gameplan. Do they have the cattle though?

Brad Hill’s departure to St.Kilda could be telling, but with Stephen Hill training well there is an option to fill that void. Blake Acres and James Aish were recruited during the trade period also, with both being solid contributors to their former clubs, so perhaps they can help bolster Fremantle’s perceived list shortcomings.

Be sure to check out who was named as the Top Ten Dockers of the 2010s.

2020 Playing List

1. Jesse Hogan, 2. Griffin Logue, 3. Brandon Matera, 4. Sean Darcy, 5. Adam Cerra, 6. Reece Conca, 7. Nat Fyfe, 8. Andrew Brayshaw, 9. Blake Acres, 10. Michael Walters, 11. James Aish, 12. Mitchell Crowden, 13. Luke Ryan, 14. Nathan Wilson, 15. Ethan Hughes, 16. David Mundy, 17. Hugh Dixon, 18, Darcy Tucker, 19. Connor Blakely, 20 Matt Taberner, 21. Joel Hamling, 22. Caleb Strong, 23. Cam McCarthy, 24. Tom North, 25. Alex Pearce, 26. Hayden Young, 27. Sam Sturt, 28. Lachie Schultz, 29. Luke Valente, 30. Lloyd Meek, 31. Liam Henry, 32. Stephen Hill, 33. Travis Colyer, 34. Brett Bewley, 35. Jason Carter, 36. Brennan Cox, 37. Rory Lobb, 38. Isaiah Butters, 39. Sam Switkowski, 41. Bailey Banfield, 42. Stefan Giro, 43. Minairo Frederick, 44. Taylin Duman, 45. Tobe Watson, 46. Dillon O’Reilly, 47. Jarvis Pina, 48. Leno Thomas.

INS: Blake Acres (St Kilda), James Aish (Collingwood), Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays), Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power), Liam Henry (Claremont), Minairo Frederick (Woodville West Torrens), Jarvis Pina (Peel Thunder), Tom North (Eastern Ranges), Isaiah Butters (Claremont), Leno Thomas (Claremont).

OUTS: Hayden Ballantyne, Harley Bennell, Shane Kersten, Aaron Sandilands, Scott Jones, Ryan Nyhuis, Ed Langdon, Bradley Hill, Thomas North, Hugh Dixon.

2020 Fixture

Rd 1EssendonAMSSat 1.45pm
Rd 2HawthornHOSSun 6.20pm
Rd 3MelbourneAMCGSun 1.10pm
Rd 4Gold CoastHOSSat 4.35pm
Rd 5North MelbourneABASun 1.10pm
Rd 6GeelongHOSSun 7.50pm
Rd 7West CoastAOSSun 5.20pm
Rd 8AdelaideAAOSat 1.45pm
Rd 9BulldogsHOSSun 5.20pm
Rd 10St KildaAMSSat 1.45pm
Rd 11BrisbaneHOSSat 8.10pm
Rd 12SydneyASCGSat 1.45pm
Rd 13Bye
Rd 14CarltonHOSSat 4.35pm
Rd 15Port AdelaideAAOSun 4.40pm
Rd 16MelbourneHOSSun 5.20pm
Rd 17BulldogsAMSSat 7.20pm
Rd 18West CoastHOSSat 8.10pm
Rd 19CollingwoodHOSSun 5.20pm
Rd 20Gold CoastAMetriconSun 4.40pm
Rd 21St KildaHOSSat 8.10pm
Rd 22GWSAGSSat 4.35pm
Rd 23RichmondHOSTBC

With West Coast the only Top Six team from 2019 they play twice, it’s not hard to imagine receiving the fixture might have prompted Justin Longmuir to complete a series of cartwheels. Although there is still a bit of work to do on the Ross Lyon rebuild, they have the perfect draw for a rise up the ladder.

Find out who was selected in the Dockers Team of the Decade.

Five Fearless Predictions

Blake Acres will repay the Faith

Blake Acres was a man synonymous with Hype at St.Kilda. Apparently though, the issue was that he was played out of position, with Alan Richardson playing him forward, back, RUCK! Acres is a tall outside midfielder that can shrug a tackle and seems to find time without being super-quick. I have an inkling that, given proper positioning and time in said position, Blake will begin to show the promise that Saints supporters knew he had.

Stephen Hill will remind us of his Quality

He needs to. The forgotten man, injury has cruelled his recent seasons. If Fremantle are to buck the expectation that they will perform poorly in 2020 then Hill will need to show that he still has what it takes to be a force in the middle.

Michael Walters to Dominate

Walters is a star, of that there is no doubt. He has games where he kicks a bag and has 30 touches. Consistency seems to be the issue. If Walters can provide his blistering best on a more consistent basis, the Dockers will be a lot more dangerous and will catch a few sides napping. With that consistency, one would expect him to steal a few Brownlow votes from Fyfe, which is a nice Segway…

Nat Fyfe will win the Brownlow

I was going to say he will go very close to winning, but it’s fearless predictions – not piss-weak ones. I attended Fremantle training recently and in the match sim, Fyfe was unstoppable at clearance. His athletic prowess, and his agility look to be up. He is going to be a hard man for opposition teams to curtail.

Fremantle’s youth and New coach means they’ll struggle Early

This is probably expected. A new coach and gameplan, together with a promising, youthful list including Cerra, Brayshaw, Logue, Darcy and Bewley means that Fremantle will more than likely struggle early while they adapt to the changes. That’s not to say that they will be terrible. There are still some older heads with undoubted class and quality (Fyfe, Walters), and some B and C graders capable of taking the next step (B.Cox, who was very sharp at training). The eternal issue with Fremantle’s forward setup looks set to continue with Jesse Hogan taking leave from the game to deal with isses, but Fremantle will be hoping a rejuvenated Taberner can shoulder some of that expectation.

Where will they finish

Despite some obvious midfield class, it’s hard to see Fremantle making the eight. A new coach, game plan and the loss of key personnel are all factors that point to a ‘rebuild’ type season for the Dockers. Expect them to finish in the log jam between 11 and 15.

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