Caleb Serong during the 2022 AFL Round 19 match between Richmond and Fremantle (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

The Fremantle Dockers face a defining 2023 campaign, hot off the heels of their amazing 2022 season from nowhere to fifth place and a run to the semi-finals.

Justin Longmuir's boys are on the trail for another finals berth, but who holds the key for Fremantle's fortune over the next sox months?

Let's break down the three major players for the Dockers ahead of the 2023 season...


For Alex Pearce, the appointment as the Dockers' 10th captain will add to the challenge he faces this season. The 201cm key defender has not had the best run, with injuries hounding his 10-year AFL history.

He only played nine games in season 2022 but in those games he was valuable as a defensive enforcer in the Dockers' run to the finals, averaging seven effective kicks deep in defensive 50 while providing support in transition for the likes of Luke Ryan, Hayden Young & Brennan Cox.

With Pearce taking over the Dockers captaincy from the evergreen Nat Fyfe, the opus will be on Pearce to take Fremantle into a new successful era from this season and many say he has the capabilities to do so. Round 1 will be the first real test against St Kilda on Sunday.


Will he go forward or stay in the middle? That is the question of the Dockers' dual Brownlow medallist ahead of the season opener.

He has been touted to play as a permanent forward as a young crop of talented midfielders in Will Brodie and Caleb Serong firmly establish themselves as prominent ball winners early in their careers.

With players able to hit up the scoreboard to inflict pressure, Fyfe can add an extra layer of depth up forward. His three goals against Port Adelaide in a pre-season game gave Dockers fans an indication of something building inside Freo's forward 50 in 2023.


Serong's last two seasons where he averaged over 25 touches in the midfield is a pure indication that the No.3 is a new leader in the Dockers' engine room. His ability to take possession of the ball and burn through the midfield is a sight for fans to behold.

Serong's performance in the elimination final last year against the Bulldogs was one of his best games of the season. He had 33 touches, 10 clearances and contributed a goal in a game where he arrived as a midfield powerhouse.

He will run in tandem with Andrew Brayshaw for another season as one of the competition's most exciting midfield combinations and will carry the centre rotation. Serong's run and carry will be a vital asset for Fremantle in a midfield unit mostly consisting of young guns who can get it done.

Fremantle begin their campaign for 2023 on Sunday at Marvel Stadium against St Kilda at 1:40pm AWST.