Young Fremantle forwards Josh Treacy and Jye Amiss started out as competitors, hoping to secure the same spot in the team whenever there was an opening alongside established pair Matt Taberner and Rory Lobb. 

As they each battled injuries and illness through 2022, the teenage forwards took their brief turns in the team but ran out alongside each other only once, when Amiss made an impressive two-goal debut against North Melbourne in round eight. 

Even as recently as this pre-season, there was uncertainty around which of the young goalkickers would get the nod for the season-opener against St Kilda, with Treacy ultimately selected. 

But in a striking example of how fast football can move, Amiss, 19, and the 20-year-old Treacy are quickly becoming mainstays in attack, forming an exciting partnership that has been crucial in a four-game winning run. 

With Lobb now gone and experienced goalkicker Taberner unavailable as he rehabilitates a long-term back injury, the young duo have become allies on the field and an important support for each other.  

"There's always a little bit of competition for spots at times of the year, and with two young fellas who are just keen to get in and play it can get a little bit competitive," Treacy told this week.  

"But I certainly have come to the realisation that for things to turn around and to get the ball rolling we've got to do it together, and with Jacko (Luke Jackson) as well. 

"I feel like the last five weeks we've played as well as we have as a collective, and it's been really enjoyable. 

"You're always competing with someone for a position and fortunately enough we've been able to play together, which is really exciting."


Treacy, whose physical presence has complemented the efficiency and craft of Amiss, said the young forwards were starting to understand each other's weapons and build trust on the field. 

"[We're] helping each other with constant feedback and bouncing off each other, and just [building] our general connection as teammates," the third-year forward said.  

"Our ability to connect at training and on game day is something different and I feel like we're always on the same page. 

"We're two very different blokes, but we have this ability to love and support each other. 

"It's only just getting started now and we have a long way to go. There's going to be ups and downs along the way, but if we can keep finding that common ground it's going to hold us in good stead for the future."

Treacy, who returned to Fremantle's' line-up in round eight and has held his spot for the past four weeks, has been the team's most targeted player inside 50 during that period (24). 

The 195cm big man prides himself on bringing the ball to ground, with Fremantle retaining possession from three of the four contests where he was targeted inside 50 against Melbourne in round 11. 

That doesn't account, however, for the many contests he provides further afield when Freo need a contest down the line

Luke Jackson (R) with Josh Treacy and Jye Amiss before the R8 match between Fremantle and Hawthorn at Optus Stadium on May 6, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

With six goals from those four games, Treacy said he was pleased with the contribution he was making to a well-functioning forward line, with the Dockers averaging 101.3 points a game for the past month and a goal from 29.2 per cent of their inside 50s (both ranked No.1 in the AFL). 

"Some weeks have been better than others, but my ability to compete in different ways and do more than just kick goals has been an acceptable standard for us and our group," Treacy said. 

"I'm going to continue to grow as well and take every game in my stride. 

"For me, bringing the ball to ground and one of our boys crumbing it is just as good as me marking it. 

"If I can do that and create opportunities for other boys to kick the goals … that keeps me going and I know it's appreciated."

Josh Treacy celebrates a goal during the R11 match between Fremantle and Melbourne at the MCG on May 27, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The next challenge for Treacy is to support Jackson in the ruck when the Dockers take on Richmond at Optus Stadium on Saturday night without injured big man Sean Darcy. 

Having trained for the role during the pre-season and at WAFL level, Treacy can also lean on his experience as a youngster growing up in Cohuna, having played in the ruck against unforgiving older opponents. 

"You have to learn the hard way playing against men, especially when you're playing that role," Treacy said.

"I was 15, 16 and for a couple of years there I was our second or first ruck with another big fella.

"I don't know what sort of ruck craft I had, but it was just the ability to get around the ground and keep the ball going forward. 

"I don't need to go out there and cover Sean's 50 hitouts, just give us a good contest and try and get the ball moving our way."

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