PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 01: Lachie Schultz and Matt Taberner of the Dockers celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 20 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Richmond Tigers at Optus Stadium on August 1, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Fremantle finished 11th this season, improving just one spot from the disrupted 2020 season. Here's how we review their year.

Season Finish: 11th
Record: 10 wins, 12 losses

2021 Season snapshot

Inspiring wins over Richmond and cross-town rivals West Coast in the last month of the season delivered the hope Fremantle fans dreamed to dare of in the pre-season, but inconsistency proved to be the Achilles heel of the club in 2021.

With a potential finals berth on the cards, a disappointing final round performance against the Saints was reminiscent of the low parts of Fremantle's season, as big losses to Geelong, Brisbane and the Eagles left the club with a percentage of just 86.5.

In the good moments, the Dockers had strong wins over teams that finals-bound sides were expected to beat, but a 2-8 record against the eventual top eight indicates that September expectations may have been just out of touch for the developing side.

AFL Rd 2 - Fremantle v GWS
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Adam Cerra of the Dockers reacts after his team's win during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the GWS Giants at Optus Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Veterans David Mundy and Nat Fyfe were as consistent as ever, while best and fairest winner Sean Darcy proved his worth and missed just two games during the year. The young midfield trio of Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra and Caleb Serong proved dangerous, while the emergence of young stars like Josh Treacy gave fans plenty to be optimistic about in years to come.

Star player: David Mundy

The Freo veteran seems to get better with age, finishing second in the club's best and fairest in his 17th, and arguably best, season. Mundy, who polled 20 votes on Brownlow night, played all but one game in 2021 and proved to be one of Fremantle's most valuable assets.

The 36-year-old averaged 25.1 disposals and 5.3 clearances throughout the season, and kicked 15 goals, proving to be dangerous around the ground.

After reaching the 350-game milestone against Sydney, Mundy broke Matthew Pavlich's game record in the final match of the season, cementing his place as a club legend.

Breakout player: Sean Darcy

The young ruckman was awarded with Fremantle's Doig Medal for a standout 2021 campaign. The 23-year-old had a solid 2020 season but had a series of breakout performances in 2021, including a strong Round 17 against Hawthorn, when Darcy picked up a career-best 25 disposals.

Darcy ranked sixth across the AFL for hit-outs and dominated against Carlton in Round 16, producing 23 hit-outs to advantage. The Dockers tall averaged 16.6 disposals, 4.7 clearances and 10.0 hit-outs to advantage in 2021.

In his fifth season, and passing the 50-game mark, Darcy revealed himself as not only one of Freo's bright young stars, but one of the premier young rucks in the game.


Young midfield dominance: The emerging quartet of Brayshaw, Serong, Darcy and the recently departed Adam Cerra proved a fierce obstacle for oppositions to navigate when facing the Dockers this season.

The side definitely didn't lack in midfield power and capitalised on Darcy's ruck dominance. Under the guidance of Mundy, the young core have transformed themselves into one of the centre powerhouses of the competition.

Debutants: Josh Treacy had a standout debut year for Fremantle, but he wasn't the only one to impress. Treacy, who debuted in Round 4, played 15 games and kicked 13 goals after being selected with pick No. 7 in the 2021 Rookie Draft. The 19-year-old quickly became a fan favourite as the 'Big Cohuna' impressed with strong marks and reliable goal kicking.

Heath Chapman started well after his debut in Round 2, but unfortunately had his season cut short after suffering a shoulder injury. Chapman managed six games in his debut year, including an 18-disposal performance against the Hawks in Round 4.

A highly rated junior, Chapman showed glimpses in the early stages of the season that he has the potential to match it with other young Freo stars.


Top eight record: Fremantle gained an unwanted 2-8 record against eventual top-eight teams in 2021. Despite notching up convincing wins over teams below them on the ladder, the Dockers struggled to beat those at the top of the table.

A two-point win over the Swans was thrilling, but not exactly convincing in terms of the club's top eight credentials.

Pressure and expectations can weigh heavily as the season progresses, but a true finals contender finds a way to win.

AFL Rd 2 - Fremantle v GWS
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Nat Fyfe of the Dockers gets tackled by Phil Davis of the Giants during the round 2 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the GWS Giants at Optus Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

When it rains, it pours: Fremantle ended the year with a poor percentage, just 0.9% above the 17th placed Magpies.

Big losses to Geelong (69 points), Brisbane (64 points) and St Kilda (58 points) were massively consequential when the fight for a finals spot became so tight. Add in Fremantle's wayward goalkicking, and their issues in defence become even more worrying.

Season Grade: B-

The Dockers ended the season just one game outside of the eight, so close to breaking a five-year finals drought. Injuries hurt the young team, but consistency was the club's biggest failure.

A poor season when considered under the guise of what could have been a finals appearance, but strong performances from the teams growing list of young stars showed promise moving forward.