Justin Longmuir hopes that a focus on talent will help get the best out of his younger players heading into his first season as senior coach.
There are 13 first-round draft selections on Fremantle’s list in 2019 in David Mundy, Stephen Hill, Reece Conca, Cam McCarthy, Blake Acres, James Aish, Griffin Logue, Adam Cerra, Andrew Brayshaw, Sam Sturt, Caleb Serong, Hayden Youn and Liam Henry.
While not technically a first-rounder, Jesse Hogan was selected at no.2 in a mini draft held prior to the 2012draft while Brandon Matera and Nathan Wilson were pre-draft selections for Gold Coast and GWS respectively.
Longmuir hopes that a focus on each players’ strength from their draft years will help them excel in their roles in 2020.
“Along with giving (the players) a fresh start is to just strip it all back and really understand why certain players got drafted and really go back to focus on what their strengths were when they got drafted,” Longmuir told SEN on Wednesday.
“We really want to embrace those strengths first and foremost and really try and enhance those strengths.”
This philosophy may see Fremantle get the most out of James Aish, and Blake Acres – the no.7 and no.19 picks in 2013 respectively – at their new club.
“I think it’s really important as a young player that you really have a strong primary role and you try and embed that role first and foremost before you start working on secondaries and third roles.
“We’ve got players on our list who have clearly solidified their first role and have become All Australians in those first roles, so I suppose for guys like Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters, it’s about new challenges and trying to develop new areas of their game.
“Largely, our younger players, it’s about really embedding that first role and trying to really get clarification around what that role is."