Alex Pearce is not taking his stand-in captaincy duties lightly as he takes the reins with Nat Fyfe on the sidelines with a back injury.
Since Fyfe was elected captain in 2017, fellow leader David Mundy has traditionally stood up in Fyfe’s absence.
But the 36-year-old Mundy has passed on those duties to the 26-year-old Pearce, who is loving the challenge of leading Fremantle’s young line-up.
“I’m hugely honoured to be able to do it and it gives me a real lift to lead the boys out,” Pearce said.
“I’ll cherish every moment I get to do it, we’re having some good fun at the moment playing some good footy and everyone is really connected.
“It’s just great to see guys playing well and that transforming into a few wins.”
Sunday’s 48-point win against Essendon was Pearce’s second chance to lead the players out, but he said he should get some pointers from Fyfe and Mundy for his pre-game speeches.
“I mumbled my way through the pre-game speech before the game, so I might have to get some tips because I’ve got some work to do there,” Pearce said.
From a leadership point of view, it was crucial for Fremantle to claim another convincing victory after some inconsistent football in 2021.
Since a disappointing 10-point loss to St Kilda in round two, Fremantle have won by an average of 46 points in the past three rounds.
“We’ve spoken about that (building consistency) a lot through the pre-season and throughout the early stage of this year,” Pearce said.
“Coming interstate, it’s always challenging, so to be able to play our way was important when we got challenged in that first half.”
Fremantle’s percentage of 141 per cent means they sit on top of a group of five teams on four wins in second place behind the undefeated Melbourne.
But Pearce said he won’t be looking at the ladder anytime soon.
“I don’t think it’s needed at the moment. I don’t even look at the ladder, it means nothing at this time of the year,” Pearce said.
“We’ll keep trying to win each game, keep trying to play well. Each game is all that matters.”
One thing Pearce might be doing on his phone is texting former teammate Adam Cerra ahead of what will be a highly anticipated clash against Carlton, with the Blues also on four wins in sixth place.
“It will be interesting to come up against him. I might have to send him one or two cheeky messages,” Pearce said.
“The Len Hall Game is always massive, we always get so much support there. It’s a really special weekend in Australia (around ANZAC Day) and it’s great that we get the chance to play on a Saturday night.
“We hope we get heaps of Freo fans there and we hope we can do them proud.”
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