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Cox and Ryan omitted

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Midfield flexibility focus

Ned Balme  January 25, 2016 4:38 PM

AFL 2015 First Preliminary Final - Fremantle v Hawthorn

Lachie Neale has indicated that fans might see some fresh faces in Freo's midfield

Fremantle Docker Lachie Neale could be joined by some fresh faces in the midfield in 2016, as Freo aim for flexibility and rotation throughout the playing group.

Neale attributed pre-season adjustments and rule changes as reasons for potential changes, but remains confident in Freo’s ability to adapt.

 “We’ve seen Hayden (Ballantyne) and Michael Walters rotate through the midfield,” Neale said.

 “With the interchange changes, that will be crucial for flexibility through the midfield and across half-back and half-forward.

 “There will be some slight adjustments but overall it’s been the same message all pre-season.”

Neale also spoke of the leadership values that Fremantle hold closely, and reiterated that despite a change in captaincy, the responsibility of leading is with all Freo players.

“We need leaders all across the ground,” he said.

“We take responsibility on the field as well, it’s not just up to the leadership group."

The impressive Freo midfielder spoke highly of captain David Mundy and admitted that the change at the top hadn’t altered the leadership group in the slightest. 

“David’s the captain now and he’s pulled the group aside a couple times and delivered some strong messages,” he said.

“He’s stayed the same and that’s exactly what we expected.

“None of those guys have changed their personalities or the way they’ve led.”

The progress of 2015 Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe and off-season addition Harley Bennell were a source of optimism for Neale, who said that both were doing everything required and then some.

 “Guys like Harley and Nathan are tracking along really well,” he said.

 “All the rehab guys have sat in all the meetings, and gone through most of the game plan.”