Nat Fyfe thanks the fans after Fremantle's win over Adelaide at Optus Stadium in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir has declared there is significant improvement left in his in-form group if they don't get distracted by the hype of a 3-0 start, challenging his players to embrace the "boredom and monotony" of the season ahead.

The Dockers have made their best start to a season since 2015, going undefeated through the first three matches for just the third time in the club's 30-year history after beating Adelaide by 35 points on Good Friday.

DOCKERS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

Longmuir said the team would enjoy Friday night's win after gruelling back-to-back six-day breaks before knuckling down to prepare for a Gather Round blockbuster next Saturday against 3-0 Carlton at Adelaide Oval.

"We need to make sure that we embrace the boredom and the monotony of the season and make sure we prepare really well each week … there's still outside noise, it'll just be more positive, so we can't read into that," the coach said on Friday night.

"If we keep valuing the right things as a footy club and as a team, we'll be right. We've still got plenty of work, plenty to build on, and plenty of improvement left in us. So the players should see this as a really great opportunity.

"We need to enjoy this win, then Monday we'll put a stop to it and we'll focus on Carlton."


Longmuir paid tribute to the team's backline after superb performances from captain Alex Pearce and defender Luke Ryan, who combined for 17 intercept possessions while shutting Taylor Walker (0.1) and Darcy Fogarty (0.2) out of the game.

Young backman Josh Draper also played a key role in just his second AFL game, while Jordan Clark's run and composure was vital.

"Our captain played an outstanding game. His ability to come off and impact and defend his direct man was unbelievable. So I thought he played a great game," Longmuir said.

"Boydy (assistant coach Matthew Boyd) is doing a great job with the back six. They look really organised and they planned for the opposition really well. But I thought after quarter-time our team defence clicked into gear.

"He (Draper) is really composed and he's defended really well. He's like the old No.37 (Michael Johnson) in some ways, he just finds a bit more time than some other players can."


The Dockers trailed at quarter-time for the third time this season after a tight opening, but Longmuir was pleased with his team's repeated ability to adjust at the first break and get the game on their terms.

"I'd rather be behind at quarter-time and win than the other three teams we played, being in front and losing. No disrespect to the other teams, but the game is played over four quarters," he said.

"I think today was our most consistent four-quarter performance. We won the inside 50s in the first quarter and I thought we had some things in our favour, we just weren't defending well at all."


A disappointed Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said his team was not playing to the standard it expects after a poor finish that saw the Crows concede four unanswered goals in the last quarter.

Heading into a crunch game next Thursday night against Melbourne to open Gather Round, the coach said the Crows needed to find a way to build belief and momentum without yet having a win to their name this season.

"It's still early in the season. There are some very good sides that are sitting in a similar record," Nicks said. 

"So by no means are we dropping our bundle, but at the moment we're incredibly frustrated with where we're at.

"So we'll sit down as a group and nut through it. We'll find out how do we find that form? How do we bring that connection back? How do we believe in ourselves again?

"I don't think we've lost belief at all, but confidence is an amazing thing in footy when momentum is with you. You can really ride that at the moment. We don't have that we're gonna find a way to get it right."