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Fyfe a Docker for life

Tom Fee  July 17, 2017 10:11 AM

Nat Fyfe is set to be a Docker for life, with the 25-year-old agreeing to terms for a new six-year deal.

Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe is set to be a Docker for life, with the 25-year-old agreeing to terms for a new six-year deal and committing to the club through to the end of season 2023.

It is the longest contract extension in the club’s history, with Fyfe playing in Fremantle colours as a 31-year-old in the final year of the deal.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. Freo has been my home since the start of my career and I’ve since grown into a leadership role,” Fyfe said. 

“I really love playing for the club and I’m really grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to be here for the next six years.”

Fyfe’s contract extension follows Fremantle's recent move to a new elite training and administration facility at Cockburn Central, and comes as the club transitions to playing at the new Perth Stadium from 2018 onwards.

“Fremantle are really in a great position to have the new facility at Cockburn as well as playing at the new Perth Stadium,” Fyfe said.

“As an AFL football player, there’s no better place to be playing than in Western Australia at the new Perth Stadium and especially so with the Fremantle Dockers.” 

The 2015 Brownlow Medallist said his ultimate goal was to play a role in Fremantle’s first premiership side, adding that Freo's youthful list was “dog-hungry” to improve.

“I think we’ve got a group who are really willing to learn and aren’t interested in waiting around for their careers to follow a natural trajectory,” Fyfe said.

“Clearly, we want to deliver Fremantle their first premiership. It’s a really lofty and ambitious goal. We’re all going to work as hard as we can towards that.”

The deal will see Fyfe play at least three more seasons under senior coach Ross Lyon, who is contracted with Fremantle until the end of season 2020.

"I’ve got a great working relationship with Ross, a really strong, professional relationship, and I’m looking forward to seeing what that garnishes over the coming years," Fyfe said.

General manager of list management Brad Lloyd said that the re-signing of Fyfe was crucial as Fremantle builds towards the future.

“We’re absolutely thrilled as a football club to get this long term commitment from Nat,” Lloyd said.

“It was very clear throughout the process that Nat was firmly committed to staying at Fremantle. 

“We feel that we have a really young exciting group coming through, who have come on throughout the 2017 season in particular. As captain, Nat is a key leader for those young players and the rest of the playing group, so it’s a really pivotal step for where we’re taking the club."

Lloyd said that Fyfe had displayed elite ability and professionalism since his arrival in 2009.

“Nat’s shown from the moment he walked in that he has a desire for hard work and to achieve the most out of his football,” Lloyd said.

“He made a quick impact from his first year and progressed rapidly from that time to be an outstanding player, not only for Fremantle but in the competition.”

Fyfe’s manager, Jason Dover, from Stride Management, said: “Nat had a lot of interest from other clubs but we never thought he would leave Fremantle. Once Nat had decided to stay the negotiation process with all parties was handled very professionally.

"We believe the contract extension is a great result for both Nat and the club. The future is exciting for him to lead this young team into a new era."

Hailing from Lake Grace, 345km southeast of Perth, Fyfe’s career at Fremantle started when he was taken with pick no.20 in the 2009 National Draft.

In 2010, Fyfe was nominated for the NAB Rising Star award and the following year he finished runner-up to Matthew Pavlich in the Doig Medal - an award he subsequently won twice, in 2013 and 2014.

Fyfe continued his rise in 2014, earning his first All Australian honour, polling the second-most votes in the Brownlow Medal with 25 and winning the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players’ Association MVP.

In 2015, Fyfe repeated his All Australian and Leigh Matthews honours but went one better to win the Brownlow with 31 votes – becoming the first Fremantle player to win the award in a year Freo also won the McClelland Trophy as minor premiers.

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