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Matera targets hot start

Brandon Matera addressed the media on Wednesday. Brandon Matera chats to the media ahead of the first JLT series game.

With a full pre-season under his belt at Fremantle, new recruit Brandon Matera is hopeful he can recapture his early 2017 form prior to his season being cut short with a foot injury.

The former Gold Coast Sun credited a full pre-season for his hot start to 2017, starting the year with a six-goal haul against Hawthorn in round three.

Matera went on to kick 22 goals from 10 games before missing the final 10 games of the year with a fractured metatarsal in his foot.

“It was very frustrating, which is probably why I played a couple games too many,” Matera said.

“I got some confidence out of the start of last season and it’s all about really enjoying my footy and I’ve brought that here.

“I had a full preseason and, touch wood, I’ve done the same thing here. Hopefully, I can carry that form that I started off with last year into this year with Freo.”

The 25-year-old made his first Fremantle appearance in the AFLX competition at Hindmarsh Stadium, which was his first taste of game action since round 13, 2017 against Carlton at Spotless Stadium.

Matera hopes he can also earn selection for Freo’s JLT Series opener against Adelaide, played on Sunday at Strathalbyn Oval, 55km south-east of Adelaide. 

“I can’t wait, it’s been a long pre-season,” Matera said.

“It’s the time of the year where it gets a bit more exciting. The boys are ready to go, we had a little taste of it in the AFLX on the weekend and it makes it pretty exciting coming into this weekend.” 

The arrival of Matera, who was traded last year in exchange for a 2018 third-round draft pick, should unleash Michael Walters into the engine room this season and give Freo another avenue to goal at ground level.

But, so far, coach Ross Lyon's main instructions to the ex-Sun have been about bringing defensive heat.

"As a small forward that's pretty much your role is (that) pressure role," Matera said.

"Obviously over here it's probably regarded (more) highly than at Gold Coast. 

"Ross hasn't really said much about scoring goals.

"Everyone loves to kick a goal, but my role at the moment is just the pressure stuff, doing the right things for the team, being in the right spots and then the goals are the bonus." 

Fremantle play Adelaide on Sunday 25 February at Strathalbyn Oval, with bouncedown at 1:35pm CDT (11:05am WST)

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs