After incremental improvements in the first two seasons under Coach Justin Longmuir, Fremantle made the quantum leap in 2022 by playing finals football for the first time since 2015. And they disappoint.

In a season filled with successes, the Dockers made tremendous strides finishing with 15 wins, six losses, and a draw. More than the actual win-loss record, the continual growth of its upcoming young players and middle to lower-tier players made the difference in becoming one of the more formidable sides to play against.

With an array of confidence under the belt, Fremantle made important moves during last season's trade period despite losing Rory Lobb (Western Bulldogs), Blake Acres (Carlton), Griffin Logue and Darcy Tucker (North Melbourne).

Bringing home Jaeger O'Meara and Luke Jackson is going to shore up its midfield and ruck stocks respectively, whilst Josh Corbett has potential for more opportunities, having fallen out of favour at the Gold Coast Suns.

As the side's first match of the home and away Season is only days against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium, these are the five burning questions hovering over the Dockers.

3. Can they keep a fit Matthew Taberner out on the field?

For Fremantle to go even further in September, a fit and firing Matthew Taberner will be critical. In his ten seasons in the purple, the 29-year-old hasn't played more than 17 games in a year.

Last season followed the same recurring pattern. The 198cm key forward was looking prime for a big year after kicking 12 goals in his opening four matches before injury struck again.

Hamstring and calf injuries restricted him to only 13 matches in 2022. When Taberner is up and running he is a real handful to contain. Keeping him injury free in 2023 is more important than ever after losing last season's leading goalkicker Rory Lobb to the Kennel. 

Taberner was candid when speaking to AFL media last month about keeping even-keeled on his injury past.

“Things change pretty quickly with injuries and once you get one it can flow on, so I'm as confident as I can be. But given I've missed a bit of footy the last few years I'm not going to say that I'm ready for 22 games this year," he said. 

But after an injury-free pre-season, it feels Taberner will make an immediate impact, at the same time not having to shoulder the responsibility with other forward options to choose from.