Justin Longmuir and the Fremantle playing group believe their season is well and truly alive ahead of a crucial clash against Richmond at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
While Richmond will be without their star midfielder Dustin Martin, Freo face a number of changes with captain Nat Fyfe (shoulder) as well as leaders Michael Walters (hamstring) and Alex Pearce (concussion) all omissions due to injury.
It means Freo are set to go into the game with one of their youngest teams of the year. Six of the Club’s 10 oldest players are unavailable for selection for a game that pits the 10th placed Tigers against the 11th placed Freo, with both teams only two points out of the top eight.
Longmuir said that the group had the belief to get their season back on track after recent losses to Geelong and Sydney.
“We've got an important opportunity to improve our footy over the last four weeks,” Longmuir said.
“We haven't given up on the season, we feel like we can get back to playing our best and we're going to need to do that this week.
“I expect Richmond at their best, we always prefer to prepare for the opposition at their best. I would expect a really intense, fierce contest so we’re looking forward to Sunday.”
Longmuir said 18-year-old forward Josh Treacy was set to return after missing the Sydney clash due to illness but said 19-year-old Nathan O’Driscoll would likely need more time before earning a debut.
“There's going to be some opportunities that are created through injury on the weekend,” Longmuir said.
“We think Josh Treacy will come back into the team. He missed on the weekend with a bit of illness.
“I'm not going to declare a debutant just yet. We've been happy with (O’Driscoll’s) form and his progression, we just have to weigh up whether he's ready.”
Longmuir said Fremantle had the midfield depth to cover the loss of Fyfe, with the likes of David Mundy, Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra and Caleb Serong to carry the load.
“We'll probably just give more game time to our mids, that's probably the strategy we've used in the past,” Longmuir said.
“We've played five mids and one of them has been pushed out to a wing. The obvious option is just to play the four mids as insiders and find another winger.
“If we brought another inside mid in, we're happy with them playing wing as well. We'll just have to weigh that up, what best suits us this weekend.”
Fremantle will bring back the ‘green anchor’ jumper for the Retro Round clash, thanks to 92.9 Triple M.