There were mixed feelings among the Fremantle playing group after a promising 2020 season ended with a 30-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, according to captain Nat Fyfe.
While pleased with Fremantle’s progress under new senior coach Justin Longmuir, the two-time Brownlow Medallist admitted to feeling ‘bitter’ about missing finals for a fifth consecutive season.
He was pleased to see Longmuir leading the way post-game with similar sentiments, telling the group that he wasn’t satisfied with Fremantle’s seven win and 10 losses in 2020.
“(Longmuir) has a ruthless desire to win. Even tonight he said ‘don’t be patting yourself on the back, we’re not happy until we’re holding the cup up’. That really excites me as a player and a leader heading into the back end of my career,” Fyfe told ABC radio.
“I’m here to follow someone who wants to take us places we’ve never been before.
“We don’t want to be a team that’s happy missing finals. I haven’t played finals footy in five years and I desperately want to get back there.”
While disappointed, Fyfe feels the club has the right personnel to achieve the fast improvement required.
“Justin’s come in with a plan that makes sense and works. It’s modern, we can defend well and still score well,” Fyfe said.
“We’ve seen great growth out of Luke Ryan, Matt Taberner, Caleb Serong, Ethan Hughes, Brennan Cox, Michael Frederick, the list goes on. We haven’t even seen the best of Liam Henry and Hayden Young and Alex Pearce will be back next year.
“There’s a lot to smile about…the club is heading in the right direction.”
Fyfe said the club was fortunate to have the passionate backing of its members and supporters.
“I think the membership renewals and numbers speak for themselves,” Fyfe said.
“Our fans are so loyal, so passionate. We felt their support over here and we felt the support when we played at home at Optus Stadium, so thanks very much.
“Hopefully, you can see the growth and the system that we’re putting together.
“There’s some excitement machines in our team and we’re looking forward to getting it done next year.”