Nat Fyfe handballs during a Fremantle training session in 2024. Picture: Fremantle FC

Ins and outs


Jack Delean (No.60 draft pick), Odin Jones (Rookie Draft), Oscar McDonald (delisted free agent), Ollie Murphy (No.41 draft pick), Cooper Simpson (No.35 draft pick), Jeremy Sharp (SSP, Gold Coast)


Eric Benning (delisted), Travis Colyer (delisted), Joel Hamling (free agent, Sydney), Liam Henry (trade, St Kilda), Lachie Schultz (trade, Collingwood), Nathan Wilson (delisted)

Medical room

Heath Chapman is set to miss the start of the season after suffering a moderate-grade hamstring strain in an intra-club match, continuing a frustrating run with soft tissue injuries. Chapman had been slated for a move to the wing after travelling overseas in the off-season to address his hamstring issues. Brandon Walker is making fast progress in his return from serious knee injury and pushing to be ready for round one. Brennan Cox is rehabilitating a stress fracture in his fibula and also hopes to be available for the start of the season. Forwards Josh Corbett (hip) and Sebit Kuek (knee) have been ruled out for the year. 

Heath Chapman in action during a practice match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide at Fremantle Oval on March 2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Three burning questions

Can the Dockers attack consistently?
Fremantle was at its best through the middle stages of last season when it moved the ball with dare and had a 'play to win' mindset, rather than the conservative style that hampered it during a 2-5 start. The team had to re-school on the run and embrace the chaos of the game, but it fought its way back into the season before again hitting roadblocks with consistency. Establishing a winning style from the start of the season and delivering it week after week is the challenge in 2024.

Does Nat Fyfe's return and Hayden Young's switch complete the Fremantle midfield?
The missing midfield ingredient last year was a big-bodied onballer to complement the ball-winning of Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw, with Hayden Young emerging as that player late in the year in a series of run-with roles. With Nat Fyfe now returning to the midfield full time and Young staying in the role, the Dockers suddenly have the big bodies they need to become a more effective clearance and contested ball team.

Will Luke Jackson give the Dockers their point of difference?
Luke Jackson
is a player capable of evolving into a 50-goal key forward, the best ruckman in the competition, or a 199cm midfielder who bursts out the front of stoppages. But he can't be all at once. So how do the Dockers take advantage of their unique star without spreading him too thin? It will be a balancing act for Justin Longmuir and a weekly challenge in planning and on game day for opposition teams.

Luke Jackson poses during Fremantle's official team photo day at Cockburn ARC on January 16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Track watch

The midfield battle has been the highlight for Fremantle this summer as a large group of players fight it out for spots in an engine room that under-performed as a collective in 2023. Club champion Serong has been outstanding, while Fyfe has generated plenty of excitement in the midfield. Matthew Johnson and Neil Erasmus have both produced excellent match sim performances as they press for onball roles. Jordan Clark is in excellent physical condition and using his speed and cool head in defence. Former Bomber Patrick Voss is pushing hard for a list spot with impressive track form as a key forward.

Matthew Johnson handballs during the match between Hawthorn and Fremantle at the MCG in round 24, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

Fantasy lock

Hayden Young (DEF, $805,000) was moved into the midfield at the end of 2023 and is set to continue in that role this year. He attended 74 per cent of the Dockers' centre bounces over the last five games in a distinctive role change that also led to his season-high score of 119 in round 21.

Instant hit

Midfielder Cooper Simpson is showing early signs that he could be the steal of last year's Draft as he makes a run for an early season debut. Wearing Matthew Pavlich's famous No.29, Simpson is starting his career as a half forward and making an impression with his speed and long-range goal-kicking in match simulation. The loss of Lachie Schultz could open a spot for the teenager to debut in round one.

It's a big year for…

Justin Longmuir. Any contract year for a coach is a big one, and Longmuir will be desperate to guide his team back to finals after leading the Dockers to their first September win since 2015 in 2022. Dealt a tough hand with the departures of experienced players in consecutive off-seasons, the coach will hope the big steps taken in 2023 by young players like Jye Amiss, Josh Treacy, Johnson and Erasmus can lay the foundation for a 2024 bounce.

Justin Longmuir during Fremantle's official team photo day at Cockburn ARC on January 16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Pass mark

The Dockers need to play finals for 2024 to be a successful season, but they should and will have their sights set further than that. Some external expectations may be low after a 10-win season (that included two losses by less than a goal) but the Dockers have some of the best young talent in the competition and the group has hard-won experience in big finals. If they can harness their youth as an asset, they have what they need to get back there. 

Best 23 for 2024

B: Luke Ryan, Alex Pearce, Brandon Walker
HB: James Aish, Brennan Cox, Jordan Clark
C: Nathan O'Driscoll, Hayden Young, Jeremy Sharp
HF: Michael Frederick, Josh Treacy, Sam Switkowski
F: Luke Jackson, Jye Amiss, Michael Walters  
Foll: Sean Darcy, Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw   
I/C: Nat Fyfe, Heath Chapman, Matthew Johnson, Jaeger O'Meara, Sam Sturt
Emerg: Matt Taberner, Neil Erasmus, Will Brodie