Fremantle debutant Sam Sturt was a shining light in a ‘heartbreaking’ result as Freo fell six-points short of an epic comeback against Essendon on Saturday at an empty Marvel Stadium.
The Bombers kicked the first four goals of the game and by three quarter time, Freo had a 26-
point deficit to make up.
Two of Sturt’s three majors came in Freo’s final quarter push as the 19-year-old helpe
d Freo to the precipice of a comeback.
“It was really crazy. That last quarter was pretty hectic. I thought the boys fought it out well,” Sturt said.
“(The result) was heartbreaking. I think everyone was a bit gutted after the game and just leaving ourselves with a bit too much to do in the last quarter.”
Sturt’s first AFL goal was one for the highlight reel, converting a set shot from a tight angle from outside 50.
After winning the free kick he said he hadn’t initially planned on taking the set shot.
“I decided to go for it probably when I got to the back of my mark,” Sturt said.
“I just saw quite a bit of density in the forward line. I just decided to take the shot really.
“That moment went super quick but it was great, it was amazing.
“It was nice to get the three goals. A good way to finish the game but I’m still gutted that we didn’t get the result.”
Sturt wasn’t the only Freo debutant on the day in a sense, with Justin Longmuir taking part in his first AFL game as senior coach.
The forward said the message from Longmuir was consistent and the results finally came in the final term when Freo laid 15 of their 33 tackles that quarter.
“I thought our balance inside and outside was a lot better,” Sturt said of the final term.
“Our pressure was really good in the and we just got momentum and got on top of them late.
“That was pretty much the message all day from Justin. I think (the turnaround) was a bit more player driven.
“It was a focus of our coming into the game but unfortunately we didn’t execute in the first two to three quarters.”
While Sturt had a small family contingent watching on from a corporate box, he said he felt for the Freo fans who couldn’t attend.
“I just want to thank you guys for watching, we feel we can hear your support from here,” Sturt said.
“It’s just really great that we have so many people across Australia that support Freo and unfortunately, you can’t come to the games right now but we hope it will change soon.”