The Fremantle Dockers have had a fantastic year and played a very attractive brand of football. They have young stars who play beyond their years combined with old heads who lead the team.
Now 2022 firms as a chance to play finals football and perhaps even deliver the people of Fremantle their maiden premiership title.
Players such as Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw put together incredible seasons. They are in their early twenties but play with the confidence of 200-gamers. The pair could propel the Dockers into finals contention next season as they firm as two of the AFL's standout young guns.
SERONG, SO RIGHT 😮
— AFL (@AFL) August 15, 2021
The other masterstroke was signing coach Justin Longmuir. He was a great influence on the young players, but he has also got the most out of their veterans, revamping a difficult list.
Midfielder David Mundy could poll the most votes for Fremantle at this weekend's Brownlow Medal count, amassing an incredible year at 36 years of age. He was also a part of the All-Australian preliminary squad, which is remarkable from a player that has played over 350 AFL games.
Mundy proved his versatility this year and had a great impact when moving from the midfield to the forward-line, which added to the team's strike-power.
The mix of youth and high-performing veterans has given coach Longmuir a platform to mount a finals challenge.
Another absolute revelation from the improving Dockers was the emergence of ruckman Sean Darcy.
Darcy emerged to join the top echelon of ruckman in 2021 and got his hand to 28+ hit-outs per game, to go along with five marks each week. He gave first use to the Dockers midfield which fuelled the success of the engine room as a whole.
Now the next step in the Fremantle game-plan is to improve their turnover rate next season. They often played fast football, making them more at risk of teams scoring from their skill errors.
Fremantle may look to bring in better ball users this off-season, especially off half-back, which will hopefully reduce the number of goals from turnovers they concede.
The Dockers medical team will need to try and get more games from captain Nat Fyfe and star forward Micheal Walters next year, with the star pairing missing a combined 13 games through injury.
The veteran duo are pivotal in getting more wins out of the 2022 season and mounting a deep finals run.
Fremantle are young, determined and have a strong desire to win. Beware of the purple haze in 2022.