Before the focus of the Australian sporting landscape turns to football, all eyes this month will be on the Australian Open – and Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe will be no different.
The two-time Brownlow Medallist hopes he can continue to dominate at AFL level as he gets older, and said he draws inspiration from the likes of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, who are currently competing in Melbourne.
At the age of 28, Fyfe said he already feels like an ‘old man’ in comparison to his teammates, with Fremantle’s average age sitting at 23.6, the second youngest in the AFL.
For inspiration, Fyfe told Bob Murphy and Andy Maher on SENhe is drawing inspiration from athletes that continue to dominate their respective codes well into their late 30s.
“Looking at our playing list at the moment - pretty quickly I’ve become the fourth oldest player on the list, so I feel like an old man in a young man’s game at the ripe old age of 28,” Fyfe said.
“So what is inspiring me to be honest are senior athletes that are really killing it, Serena Williams (38), Roger Federer (38), Kelly Slater (47), Tom Brady (42), these sort of athletes.
“I’m looking at these guys and girls seeing what are they doing with their preparation, how they’re able to influence and still make a huge impact in what I can tell is a game built for younger people.”
Fyfe admitted that club life has changed following the departures of Freo legends Aaron Sandilands and Hayden Ballantyne.
He said he could relate to fellow club captain Josh Kennedy of the Sydney Swans, who is 31 on a list with a similar age to Freo.
“I was in Columbia in the off-season having dinner with Josh Kennedy from Sydney and I was asking ‘who are your mates now that everyone’s left?’ As that happens when you get older and your lunch mates and your coffee mates have to change,” Fyfe said.
“We had a bit of a chuckle over that, and I’m a bit the same. I’ve got Stephen Hill, Michael Walters, David Mundy, Travis Colyer and outside of that, everyone is a lot younger than me.
“It’s exciting for our group and there are guys who are going to need to put their hands up and fill some big shoes.”