Fremantle leadership group member Evie Gooch said she was pleasantly surprised with Freo’s quick adaption to their new game plan following a successful hitout against the WA State Academy on Saturday at Victor George Kailis Oval.

With round one against Melbourne just under a month away, Freo put their gameplan under senior coach Trent Cooper to the test.

“It was really eye-opening to see the stuff we implemented throughout training work so well,” Gooch said. 

“Especially with a change in opposition, as we’re used to only going up against each other at training.

“Going up against a whole new group of players, our game plan worked and translated to a different opposition.”

Gooch added that Freo still need to iron out the kinks, with the club expecting a significant test this Saturday in a pre-season clash with Adelaide at TIO Stadium in Darwin. 

“Obviously, there’s so much that we still need to work on,” Gooch said. 

“There are plenty of little things we want to correct, so it was very beneficial to be able to test ourselves.

“It comes down to the technical stuff, we’ve done all of the work, strength and fitness wise, that’s not really going to improve much more over a week or two.

“Now it’s just getting all the feedback from our coaches and teammates and putting it into action.”

Gooch and her fellow defenders switched jumpers at half time and played the second half of the clash for the Academy side.

The switch gave the defenders the challenge of taking on the Freo forwards in match conditions and vice versa.

“The most difficult thing was looking at the Freo jumpers and realising they’re the opposition and not your teammates,” Gooch said.

“It was great to see that we could still work with a different team and perform the way that we needed to.”

Gooch said Freo’s defensive unit can only get stronger after Tayla Bresland impressed in her first week of pre-season training.

“Throughout the week she’s been training with us so it was good to have her back,” Gooch said. 

“It was a bit of a relief to see her back in action as she’s a definite positive to have in our backline.

“She really has an impact and influences the game straight away without even having to directly impact the ball, her talk is great especially.”

Gooch was also impressed by the efforts of a pair of Freo’s new signings in ruck Parris Laurie and rookie Angelique Stannett. 

“Parris in the ruck, she really stood up,” Gooch said.

“She’s a very influential player who can technically do quite a lot. That’s really great for our midfield as it gives us a lot of flexibility.

“Ange has been amazing in our backline. She’s got a really good read of the ball from her soccer background and she’s always keen to listen and learn. 

“It’s great to have players like that coming into the team who can adapt really quickly.”