Dana East has taken her midfield strengths to new heights this season as she continues to thrive off increased responsibility in a new-look Fremantle midfield group.
The 21-year-old delivered another consistent performance against Melbourne on Saturday, proving herself as the biggest driver out of the centre bounce and stoppages around the ground.
East broke her career-high clearance count for an individual match, recording 11 against the Demons to go along with her 16 disposals (13 contested) and four tackles.
The performance came off the back of her arguable best of the season last weekend against St Kilda, where she topped the coaches’ votes with nine after accumulating 19 disposals, four clearances and three tackles.
Ruck Mim Strom and defender-turned-midfielder Ange Stannett have also enjoyed standout seasons, with Strom, Stannett and East building a strong partnership together at centre bounce and stoppages.
“(I’ve loved) the support from Ange and Mim they have really stepped up this season,” East said.
“It’s made my job a little bit easier, and I just love working with those girls… I love working with Ange, she is talking non-stop and is so reassuring she has been consistent all season
“We are growing as a midfield and we just keep moving forward.”
East acknowledged the strength of ladder-leaders Melbourne in a performance that saw the home side prevail by 33-points in extremely windy conditions at Casey Fields.
“They have been a strong side for a few years now, but it’s also a great competition against them,” East said.
“I think we stuck with them for the first half but we let them slip away in that last half.
“That’s the windiest game I’ve ever played in that’s for sure, we were struggling to run against the win at times, but we can’t change anything about that.”
East said Senior Coach Lisa Webb laid down the challenge to the group post-game to keep fighting as Fremantle bring their season to a close next Sunday against Sydney in their Pride Round clash at Fremantle Oval.
“Lisa said to keep on fighting, we have got one game left and let’s put all our cards on the deck and try get another W for our last game,” East said.
“Everyone loves the Pride Round, I think it’s our favourite round…I think we will all look forward to putting our best foot forward against Sydney.”