Fremantle had a season to forget in 2023, underperforming in all facets in comparison to their finals run in 2022. Whilst all seemed to be on the up for Justin Longmuir's men at the end of last year, it was not to be.
The Dockers have a youthful side with a plethora of talent available, there's just a few pieces that need to be ironed out and then hopefully the Western Australian side can find some form once again.
Fremantle will go into the draft with picks 34, 46, 60 and 63. The club also has two available spots in the Rookie Draft which will take place on Wednesday.
The trade period was rather quiet for the Dockers regarding acquisitions, with the club signing no one during the official period. The only list addition that was made was the signing of delisted free agent Oscar McDonald.
Unfortunately, the Dockers lost crucial players to their side. Defender Joel Hamling rejected a contract extension, instead choosing to sign with the Swans as a free agent. Crafty forward Lachie Schultz made a move to the reigning premiers Collingwood, whilst winger Liam Henry moved to St Kilda.
After not gaining any crucial pieces in the trade period, the club will look to the draft to alleviate some of the damage done.
Fremantle's Head of Player Personnel David Walls revealed his plans for the draft, specifically the type of players the club is after.
“We'll manipulate the (draft) order as much as we can to target some front-half talent,” said Walls, via the club's website.
“Particularly with 'Shoota' (Lachie Schultz) going out. We weren't able to replace him in the Trade Period so that's on the wish list.”
A couple of players have already been linked with the purple club, with the younger brother of current Fremantle midfielder Nathan O'Driscoll, Aiden, being mentioned. Aiden and Nathan aren't the only footballers in the family as the pair have a sister, Emma, who plays for the Dockers' AFLW side.
O'Driscoll was described as a player that "fits the bill as front half talent" by Walls as they look to replace Schultz.
Xavier Walsh is another Western Australian who could end up at Fremantle. A key forward is something the club has been eyeing up for a while and Walsh has potential. Standing at 195cm tall, Walsh has a great pair of hands and can even rotate through the ruck.
A more suitable small-forward replacement would be Koen Sanchez. Sanchez spent time as both a midfielder and forward, a versatile player with plenty of upsides. Another Western Australian, Sanchez could be a potential target for Walls to look at.
“We've had a long relationship with Mitch. We're hopeful and we think he's a real talent,” Walls said.
The 2023 National Draft will take place at Marvel Stadium on Monday and Tuesday night.