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Strong finish buoys Fyfe's hopes of big 2018

Nat Fyfe enjoyed a strong finish to 2017 and hopes to carry that form into next year - AFL,Nat Fyfe,Fremantle Dockers
Nat Fyfe enjoyed a strong finish to 2017 and hopes to carry that form into next year

FREMANTLE captain Nat Fyfe is confident he can return to his 2015 best next season, with the Virgin Australia International Rules Series playing a role in his 2018 preparations. 

Fyfe returned from a horrific broken leg in 2017, building his form through the year and showing glimpses of his magnificent Brownlow Medal-winning form in the second half of the season.

The 26-year-old said if he could maintain the fitness and touch he had built by the end of last season, he was confident his form would return to the heights of 2015.

"As the (2017) season went on and I spent more time playing and started to understand my body again and what I was capable of, I found I got better and better," Fyfe told Perth radio 91.3 Sport FM this week.

"I've got some level of confidence going into next season that I've got my fitness and if I can retain that level of touch that I'll be able to get back to that high-level form.

"This little warm-up with the International Rules Series should have me in good condition coming into the end of Christmas."

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The appeal of the International Rules Series for Fyfe was the ability to work with rival coaches and fitness staff, as well as picking the brains of the best players from opposition clubs. 

He is the only Fremantle player in the 21-man squad after another off-season of aggressive rebuilding that has seen 12 Dockers players either delisted, traded or retired.

As the club prepares for an influx of youth at this month's NAB AFL Draft, Fyfe said a four-year plan to rebuild did not remove the expectation for young players to perform in 2018.

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"As a club we’re still working out our identity, what we stand for and who we are because we’ve had so many personnel changes," the superstar midfielder said. 

"We’ve got some genuinely talented young players that are coming through and we’ve got picks No.2 and No.5 in this year’s draft so that should set us up for a 2019-2020 vision as a club.

"But we can’t be just constantly waiting on kids to improve in the future to have success.

"We really want these guys to get going now and perform for us in 2018. We’re confident they can."

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First Test: Adelaide Oval, Sunday, November 12
Second Test: Domain Stadium, Saturday, November 18