New recruit James Aish may be the most excited Freo Docker to get to work at Fremantle under new senior coach Justin Longmuir.
While Aish has attended two training sessions already this pre-season, Monday was his official return date alongside the rest of Fremantle’s five-plus year players.
A versatile midfielder, Aish played primarily as a defender at the Magpies with Longmuir overseeing the group as an assistant coach.
“As Justin was the backline coach for Collingwood I spent basically two years with him,” Aish said.
“Obviously, we got along pretty well and I think he backed me in as a player. Often post injuries I was straight back in, I think largely due to him.
“I really respect the way he coaches and his philosophies as well.
“(Signing with Fremantle) happened all pretty late in the piece and quite quickly.
“I guess a large reason was my trust in him and the way I think he can develop me as a player and open up new opportunities for me. I’m really excited by that.”
Aish said that Longmuir builds excellent personal relationships with his players but stands out with his knowledge of the game.
“I think he just backs you in as a player. He puts all of his faith in you. He doesn’t worry about any mistakes, he just wants you to be confident and he helps you essentially believe in yourself,” Aish said.
“The way he sees the game tactically, is really good. The game plan will be really solid and we’ll execute it well. We’ll be backing him in personally and as a team.
“He’s composed and he’ll crack a gag at the start of training - they’re normally pretty average but he’ll get a few laughs.
“Basically, he’s easy going, he builds relationships and coaches really well.”
Both Aish and Longmuir have had a preference for the long sleeve jumper as players and Aish is hoping to see the sleeves out regularly this season.
“I’m pushing hard already for that (wearing long sleeves),” Aish said.
“I’m not sure what stage of the year it will come out if it’s this hot, but we’ll get it going.”