After a strong performance from Fremantle’s most experienced midfielders, Ross Lyon says that he can only see upside in Fremantle’s engine room.
Lachie Neale, Nat Fyfe and David Mundy starred as Fremantle prevailed by two points in a seesawing contest on Saturday at the MCG.
But Lyon said that the win came alongside a strong contribution from a core of younger players that can only improve as the season progresses.
“In fairness, Neale had five possessions in the first half and played forward,” Lyon said.
“Stephen Hill had the corkie and really was just out of the game.
“I think Nathan’s effort at times has been supreme, but he’s far from playing his best footy, too.
“Connor Blakely’s been in there, it’s really been (the effort from our) our wings Bradley Hill and Ed Langdon, and Harley Balic has been in there too.”
“And I thought (Melbourne ruckman) Jake Spencer had his moments around the ground against Aaron (Sandilands).
“We haven’t relied on them solely, but at critical times you know you can put your best six in there.”
Lyon said he was pleased to see his side banking wins while seeing scope for the group to improve.
“I think there’s plenty of upside in our midfield,” Lyon said.
“We’re nowhere near…I’ve seen our midfield play a lot better than they are at the minute and more consistently over four quarters.
“So I think there’s real upside in what we’re doing.”
Spoilt for choice with a good mix of youth and experience, Lyon joked that it was sometimes difficult to ensure that the eager group rotated through the contest.
“They’re supposed to be changing a bit,” Lyon said.
“But what happens is the players, they like it in there and they won’t change too much.
“It’s a bit like fighting for the back page of the paper, you don’t like to give it up do you?
“Sometimes it can be subconscious and they blink and wont realise and suddenly ‘it was 20 minutes before I flipped out of there coach and I’m sorry. I’ll buy Lachie Neale a coffee’”.