Frankston's season was better than its 4-14 record indicated after an off-season that saw several more additions to the club's growing list of players elevated to AFL lists.
BY THE NUMBERS
W-L-D (%): 4-14 (71.0%)
Players used: 43
Played every match: 4 – Will Fordham, Jimmy Rendell, Connor Riley and Jackson Voss
Debutants: 14 – William Brown, Justin Davies, Darcy Gilbert, Ben Hempel, Ryan Jacobs, Luke Lloyd, Trent Marotta, Alec McComb, Jesse McManus, Nic Minchin, Lochlan Reidy, Jaxson Shinners, Mitch Szybkowski and Cooper Trembath
Best and Fairest: 1st: Will Fordham, 2nd: Kai Owens, 3rd: Trent Mynott, 4th: Connor Riley, 5th: Ryley Stoddart
J.J. Liston Trophy votes: Trent Mynott (13), Will Fordham (12), Kai Owens (9)
Coaches MVP votes: Will Fordham (65), Trent Mynott (38), Kai Owens (34)
VFL Team of the Year representatives: Will Fordham
Goalkickers: Matt Johnson (30), Josh Butland (17), Trent Mynott (15)
(Averages – minimum 6 matches)
Disposals: Will Fordham (26.6), Ryley Stoddart (26.1), Trent Mynott (24.4)
Kicks: Ryley Stoddart (17.6), Jackson Voss (16.9), Trent Mynott (14.8)
Handballs: Will Fordham (14.4), Connor Riley (12.7), Kai Owens (10.4)
Marks: Jackson Voss (6.3), Ryley Stoddart (6.1), Trent Mynott (4.7)
Tackles: Kai Owens (5.0), Trent Mynott (4.9), Pierce Roseby (4.9)
Hitouts: James Rendell (24.0), Nic Minchin (21.4), Angus Grant (2.8)
Clearances: Trent Mynott (6.2), Will Fordham (6.0), Kai Owens (5.7)
Inside-50s: Trent Mynott (4.2), Kai Owens (4.2), Will Fordham (3.3)
Rebound-50s: Jackson Voss (6.6), Taine Barlow (5.6), Ryley Stoddart (5.4)
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Dolphins were competitive in most of their matches, with seven of their 14 defeats coming by less than six goals, including margins of one, two and three points against GWS, Geelong and Carlton respectively. Win those and it turns into a reasonable season given the talent they lost last summer. Positives included star midfielder Will Fordham making the Smithy’s VFL Team of the Year while they broke a 17-year drought against Coburg at Piranha Park late in the season. Having Brodie McLaughlin and Kye Turner added to a growing list of AFL recruits in the pre-season grew the club’s reputation as a footy factory.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Most of what went wrong did happen before the season even started, with their improving 2022 list being pillaged. The fact they couldn’t get over the line in those three thrillers mentioned above, plus defeats against Port Melbourne, Footscray and Southport when they had their chances made their season look worse than it should have. They also had a horror fortnight mid-season with hefty losses to Collingwood and eventual premier Gold Coast.
Summary: A season that wasn’t as bad as it looked on paper but still could have delivered so much more with a bit of luck and composure in the big moments. The Dolphins showed they could mix it with most teams in the competition but they couldn’t stick it out for four quarters despite their best efforts, which unfortunately led to the departure of coach Danny Ryan at the end of the season. Fordham’s switch to Williamstown after winning another best and fairest is a big blow. Although there is plenty for new coach Jackson Kornberg to work with, both in the senior squad and the Dolphins Academy.