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Dawson aims to kick on in 2016 as Freo hopes for rebound

Alex Malcolm  January 4, 2016 5:26 PM

AFL 2015 First Preliminary Final - Fremantle v Hawthorn

Zac Dawson is aiming to kick the ball more to help the Dockers rebound from defence

I'm just trying to improve my kicking and trying to improve my overall skill level

FREMANTLE defender Zac Dawson is intent on improving his kicking over the pre-season in a bid to help the Dockers become a better rebounding team in 2016. 

The Dockers converted rebound 50s into inside 50s just 19.5 per cent of the time in 2015 – the fifth-lowest percentage in the AFL.

Dawson has hardly kicked during his time at Fremantle. He has averaged just 2.8 kicks per game in his four seasons at the Dockers, compared to 6.7 handballs per game in the same period. 

But Dawson told the club's website that kicking was a major focus for both he and the team during this pre-season.

"I want to get a little bit more kicking into my game," Dawson said. 

"I think overall the team is going to focus a little bit more on that.

"So I'm just trying to improve my kicking and trying to improve my overall skill level."

Who's joining the WAFL in 2016? 

The 29-year-old endured a horror run in 2015, playing just five matches for the season due to injury and suspension.

He battled groin problems throughout last pre-season and did not play any football until May. He broke his thumb in his first game back in the WAFL and missed a further six weeks after undergoing surgery.

Dawson returned to the Dockers side in round 17 but was suspended for two matches for elbowing Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremy Cameron.

The veteran said he wanted to show more leadership in 2016, particularly in defence, following the retirement of Luke McPharlin. 

"I'm trying to be more of a leader this year than last year, taking Luke's role," Dawson said.