Fremantle defender Alex Pearce has his eyes set firmly on taking on Melbourne in round one at the MCG in two weeks as he took a step forward after missing 2020 due to an ankle injury.
Pearce was prominent in the backline in Fremantle’s 10-point AAMI Community Series loss to West Coast at Optus Stadium as he showed flashes of his best footy with his pace and physicality one-on-one.
The 201cm backman endured an injury scare in the third term. Pearce said he rolled his ankle slightly before pulled up gingerly from a contest. After some run throughs on the boundary, he returned to the field to take part in the rest of the game.
“I just went over the ankle which was the one I did hurt a couple of years ago,” Pearce said.
“It was nice to be able to get back out there and push on and it felt quite good. It’s going to happen and it’s nice to be able to have that little niggle and keep going. It was a step forward for me again.
“There’s going to be these little niggles … to be able to push on, and I thought I got better as the game went on to be honest.”
Pearce played 76 per cent game time as he continues to increase his minutes ahead of the season.
“That feel (for the game) is slowly coming back. I’m not there yet but it’s going to be a steady build and I’ll keep improving to round one,” Pearce said.
“It was a reasonably big jump (in game time) from last week. It’s good to get some kms in the legs and that’s what I’ll need to do to play senior footy this year. It was a nice step forward.”
Pearce said Fremantle would emerge as a better outfit following the loss.
“You learn from your losses especially in a really tough contest. It was tough out there and it’s what we need and we’ll definitely improve over the next couple of weeks,” Pearce said.
“I thought we had patches of the game where we played quite well. The third quarter we were a bit disappointed with our hit around the contest and a few missed tackles and their intensity was greater than ours.
“We want to be at our best this time of year so we’ll build again.”