Fremantle are becoming stronger as a team without the need to rely too heavily on captain Nat Fyfe to win games, according to forward Jesse Hogan.
While Fyfe was excellent, and one of Fremantle’s best in their 64-point win against North Melbourne on Saturday at Metricon Stadium, Hogan sees a number of teammates making a step up to the elite midfielder’s level.
In the midfield it was Fyfe, David Mundy and Blake Acres all leading the disposals with 24 each, while James Aish (23), Stephen Hill (20) and Andrew Brayshaw (20) also contributed.
Young midfielders Caleb Serong and Adam Cerra combined for 11 of Fremantle’s 23 clearances to also share the load.
Sean Darcy tallied 22 hitouts against North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein, who has been one of the AFL’s best rucks in 2020.
“We’re not just relying on Fyfe, although he’s having a ripping year,” Hogan said.
“We’ve got Caleb there and Andy playing their roles and Barra’s (David Mundy) is just Mr Reliable.
“Across the board, the midfield is solid each week. We’ve got to the point where we know were going to get Seany (Sean Darcy) taking steps forward every week and today was another step forward for the big fella.
“Andy, and Cez and Serong, they’ll just keep taking steps forward and, hopefully, we can become a really elite midfield and go from there.”
Hogan was delighted with how Fremantle’s backline covered another injury, this time with leader Reece Conca out with a minor hamstring injury.
Conca was replaced by 22-year-old defender Tobe Watson, who played his third game.
“I think we’ve come to expect it from the boys (the defenders),” Hogan said.
“Concs going out was a big loss, I think he’s been out most consistent performance over the past three or four weeks.
“For Tobe to come in and play his role, and Luke Ryan and Brennan Cox to do what they do week-in-week-out…theycome out and give 100 per cent, they just put their bodies son the line.
“We’ve come to expect it from them but they still deserve the kudos. They’ve been massive.”
MORE FROM HOGAN: What clicked for forwards
Hogan said Fremantle may have found another strong backman in Watson.
“I spent a few weeks with Tobe in the reserves,” Hogan said.
“It was good to see him come in with a bit of confidence. He’s backed himself and in and he’ll throw himself at every ball which is what our backline is going for at the moment.
“For him to come in and fill that void was awesome.”