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Fyfe feeling back to his best

Nat Fyfe addressed the media on Friday. Nat Fyfe chats to the media after Fremantle announced their leadership group.

Nat Fyfe will be rested for Sunday’s scratch match with West Coast but the Fremantle captain feels his fitness levels have returned to when he was at the top of his game.

Fyfe played all but one game in his return season from a broken leg in 2017, where his best performances came late in the season as he continued to build his form.

While the elite midfielder wouldn’t say he’s an improved player from his Brownlow Medal winning year in 2015, he feels he’s come a long way as a leader and in developing his knowledge of his game.

“It’s hard to quantify (if I’m) better (than 2015) but I’m now three years older and wiser and have seen three more cycles of the AFL system,” Fyfe said. 

“Certainly, I feel as physically ready as I was going into that year and potentially more developed as a leader and how my understanding of football goes." 

Thanks to a successful 2017 International Rules campaign against Ireland, where he won the Jim Stynes Medal as Australia’s best player, Fyfe feels he’s already on track to start the season on the front foot.

“Last year was always going to be a build year and I was able to have a good summer, a good off-season, which put me ahead of the curve slightly,” Fyfe said.

“I’ve done pretty much 100 per cent of the pre-season program and was able to play solid minutes last week.

“Everything’s trending in the right direction for a big start to the year.” 

Fyfe said playing an almost full game against Adelaide, where he collected 25 disposals and kicked two goals, was one of the reasons he wouldn’t line up against West Coast on Sunday.

Instead, he’ll run out for Freo's second pre-season clash with the Eagles in as many weeks as part of the JLT Community Series at Joondalup Oval on Sunday 11 March.

“I’ve been ruled out for this week, just a bit of load management,” Fyfe said.

“I’ve played 88 minutes last week plus International Rules, I’ve had a big summer so I won’t play this one but I’ll play JLT2.”

Fyfe says he expects this week’s game will be used to get some minutes into Freo’s younger players against an AFL opponent.

“We’ll be able to potentially bring one or two players in, some of our senior guys who didn’t play last week, as well as potentially look at a couple of other first-year players,” Fyfe said.

“(Adam) Cerra in particular, might come up and play some minutes. Some more exposure will be good for them.”

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