Fremantle defender James Aish believes Club Captain Alex Pearce and Luke Ryan are in some of the best form he’s seen.

Despite the narrow three-point loss to Port Adelaide, Pearce stood tall for Fremantle, winning several key one-on-one battles with Port key forward Charlie Dixon, including 13 intercept possessions (the most on ground).


“He’s (Pearce) been leading so well, and it gives us so much confidence when the big guys are winning their contests,” Aish said post-match. 

“His start to the year has been amazing.”

On top of his defensive efforts, Pearce gathered 20 disposals (12 contested) and five score involvements, even pushing forward late in the game as Fremantle looked for a late winner.

“He’s hardly losing a contest at all, and he’s setting us up the other way,” Aish said.

Aish also paid respect to fellow defender Luke Ryan whose influence in the last quarter was undeniable as he notched up 10 disposals, six intercept possessions and five marks in his attempt to surge Fremantle forward from defence. 

“Luke Ryan in that last quarter was probably one of the best quarters I’ve seen,” Aish said.

“Just so good in the air and winning basically everything that came his way.”

Ryan has been a pillar for Fremantle in defence in 2024, with the 28-year-old ranking as elite in disposals (26.3), intercept possessions (7.8), rebound 50s (9) and metres gained (627.5) throughout the Club’s first five games of the year. 


Fremantle will now travel home to Western Australia after two weeks in Adelaide as they prepare for the RAC Derby against West Coast next Saturday at Optus Stadium. 

“The guys are keen to get home… starting with the RAC Derby so we are looking forward to that and hopefully the fans come out,” Aish said.