Nat Fyfe has received recognition from the umpires as a Brownlow Medallist but the Fremantle captain said it’s even more meaningful to be honoured by his teammates.
This mindset explains the moving response Fyfe gave to being voted as Players’ Award winner at the Doig Medal Presentation Dinner at Crown Perth on Saturday night.
It’s the fourth time Fyfe has won the award and he said it meant as much as ever.
“It’s pretty special,” Fyfe said.
“I’ve always said that being voted by your peers is the best recognition that you can receive.”
Fyfe said that the playing group played a key part in his decision to sign on with Fremantle for a further six years.
“Moving into the captaincy role has reaffirmed to me that the position I’m in is because of the players around me,” Fyfe said.
“I love playing alongside the new group of players that we have.
“I’m excited about what this playing group can do over the next couple of years. We’ve made big strides getting games into younger players and from here the natural trajectory can’t be followed. They’ve got to take that opportunity and move forward.
The midfielder said he and his teammates can take inspiration from Richmond’s premiership win in 2017.
Richmond won eight games in 2016, the same number as Freo in 2017, and went on to win the premiership a year later.
“I watched Richmond win the Grand Final, a team that we beat at the MCG (in round seven),” Fyfe said.
“We said we wanted to be wildly optimistic at the start of the year and there’s no reason why we can’t continue down that path.”