Senior coach Trent Cooper expects to have to make some hard decisions come round one after Fremantle’s young players put in a good showing in a match simulation against West Coast on Saturday.
Fremantle saw 10 new faces take the field at Victor George Kailis Oval, and with some strong performances across the board, Cooper knows he has a lot to think about leading up to round one against Geelong in three weeks’ time.
“I’m really happy with it, we wanted to work on a few things and just get minutes into the players individually,” Cooper said.
“The girls did really well and to score nine goals in these conditions, it was really pleasing.
“This year, it’s going to be really hard, we’re going to have to leave three or four out who definitely deserve to be out there.
“There’s going to be a few unlucky girls. For our club, it’s a great position to be in.”
Cooper ran through the efforts of all of Freo’s new recruits and draftees, as well as young midfielder Jasmin Stewart, who has put her hand up for a debut in her second season at Freo.
“From our Irish recruits, Aine Tighe was great in the ruck and looked dangerous up forward without kicking a goals and Kate Flood also looked really dangerous,” Cooper said.
“Roxanne Roux was really exciting up forward when she went into the ruck for a little bit, she has a phenomenal leap and we were rapt with her.
“Bianca Webb is an 18-year-old and got to match up on Dana Hooker for the game. It was really good for her development.
“Lindal Rohde played on the wing, she got plenty of touches and used the ball really well.
“Janelle Cuthbertson has come from nowhere and held down the key defensive post. She was really solid in that role.
“Emma O’Driscoll has just come back into full training and she performed well down back with Sarah Garstone. They’ve come through the 18s program together and were more than solid.
“Mim Strom was really good through the ruck. She won plenty of hitouts but it’s her work at ground level and she feeds the players with quick hands so we were rapt with what she produced today.
“One of the main reasons we signed Mia-Rae Clifford (from Geelong) was her flexibility.
“She gives us options at both ends of the ground and she allows us to tactically change things through the game, which we probably didn’t have last year. We were happy with what she produced today.
“It was really pleasing to see Jas Stewart…her and Katie-Jayne Grieve have really improved from last year.
“Both of them were really good today, she went against a strong West Coast line-up in the midfield and Jas and Katie led our midfield and did a really good job so we’re happy with both of their performances.”
A number of Freo’s established players also shone. Up front Sabreena Duffy kicked four goals while Gemma Houghton contributed two.
Evie Gooch led Fremantle’s defence brilliantly while Gabby O’Sullivan heaped pressure on her opponents.
“Sabreena was great. The way the game works, if you work hard the results come your way. I thought her and Gemma Houghton worked really hard when things weren’t easy and got the result later on,” Cooper said.
Fremantle’s pre-season continues with a clash against reigning premiers Adelaide on Saturday 25 January at David Grays Arena.
Entry to the game is free and all fans are encouraged to cheer the girls on.
“Today was West Coast’s first hit out and they’ll improve a lot and they’ll be a formidable opposition come round one,” Cooper said.
“Now we get to play the reigning premiers, which is exactly what you want to see where we’re at.
“They’ll expose anything wrong with our game and we can look to fix that before round one.”