Fremantle players sing the team song after beating Hawthorn in R24 at the MCG on August 26. 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

FREMANTLE chief executive Simon Garlick has used the launch of the Dockers' 30th season to declare the coming decade would be the one best remembered by fans as the club sets up for a period of sustained success.  

Dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe, meanwhile, has shared the club's bright outlook by describing the 2024 team as one of the best and most talented groups he had been part of as the "dog hungry" players fight to contend as soon as possible. 

In an optimistic season launch in front of more than 700 of the club's fans and corporate partners, the Dockers recognised their 30 years in the AFL but promised the best was yet to come after one Grand Final appearance in their history. 

"As we close out our current decade, we are more than ever ready for our mens' and womens' sides to strike," Garlick said at the breakfast function at Crown Perth. 

"As we prepare to enter the next decade, this is what we can expect. This decade we will see a group of Freo players write their names in the history books. A cohort of young stars who are on the precipice of becoming household names in the AFL landscape. 

"This will be the decade that Freo fans remember the most. This is the decade where we will deliver a consistent run of September football and achieve the ultimate. This decade will enrich our community and make our Freo faithful proud." 

Fremantle CEO Simon Garlick at the club's season launch on February 22, 2024. Picture: Fremantle FC

Fremantle has played finals in eight of its 29 completed seasons, reaching the 2013 Grand Final during a run of four consecutive September campaigns. 

The club returned to finals in 2022 under coach Justin Longmuir after a six-year absence but failed to meet expectations in 2023 with a 10-win season. 

Garlick said the traits that will drive the Dockers back into finals were evident late last year and the competitive players had lifted standards and pushed each other as a result of their disappointment this summer.  

"At the back end of 2023 we were out of finals contention, but we saw the DNA of a side that has perseverance, resilience, talent and an insatiable drive to improve," Garlick said. 

Hayden Young and his teammates after the R14 match between Fremantle and GWS at Giants Stadium on June 17, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"Last year we not only did not meet our members' or our expectations, but I can stand up here today and say that the steely resolve 2023 embedded in every player on our list is something of genuine value, and it's something we should all be looking forward to seeing unfold."

Fyfe shapes as a key player in 2024 after returning to the midfield, where he will add valuable size and experience to a young group. 

The champion onballer, who has consistently impressed over the summer in match practice, said he had enjoyed more continuity this pre-season that at any time in the past two years and been energised by his move back into a familiar role.  

"I feel like the last few years have allowed me opportunity to learn a few different tricks, and we've got enormous depth in the midfield," Fyfe said.  

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

"At times everyone is going to need to step slightly outside their role and hopefully use that as an opportunity to add new strings to their bow." 

On the talent at Fremantle this season, Fyfe said: "We've drafted well, we've got good character and calibre, but these guys are dog hungry, and as far as groups I have played alongside, it's one of the best I've been a part of.  

"JL said earlier in the pre-season that this is a more talented group than we had when we played in preliminary finals and Grand Finals. I've reflected on that and I think it is accurate. 

"But we know that talent alone doesn't get you where you want to go. What this group also has is a real hunger."

Captain Alex Pearce was firm that the Dockers' youth would not be an excuse this season, and the players and coaches viewed it as a strength that would drive enthusiasm and energy.   

The key defender said the club's goal was to deliver at a competitive standard every week and "contend come the business end of the season". 

"We want to play finals, we want to have a sustained period of success, and that's us this year hopefully," Pearce said.  

"Youth isn't going to hold us back anymore and if people are going to talk about youth or we're going to mention that we're young, it's going to be 'OK, we're going to be successful because we're young', and we're going to use that enthusiasm and play with a passion that represents that youth. We'll use it as a strength."