Fremantle players leave the ground after their loss to Port Adelaide in round five, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

FREMANTLE midfielder Hayden Young says the Dockers should take a lot of confidence out of their impressive but ultimately winless road trip to Adelaide, with the lessons learned late in both games sure to help them as the season progresses. 

The Dockers led late against Port Adelaide in their second consecutive match in South Australia, but late goals to Charlie Dixon and Jason Horne-Francis saw a golden opportunity to bank an away win against a top-four contender slip. 

Rather than letting the pressure of back-to-back losses build ahead of an anticipated Derby against West Coast on Saturday night, Young said the Dockers would draw confidence and valuable lessons out of their past two matches. 

"It would have been nice to come away with a couple of wins, but we felt like we played some really good footy, and I suppose we came back with two losses, but a lot of belief," Young said on Monday. 

"It's disappointing to lose those games, but you'd rather be in those games than not, so we feel like we can learn a lot of lessons from those losses and we can take a lot of belief and a lot of confidence in the way that we're playing.

"We feel like that brand of footy should hold up against most opposition."


After a deep dive into the final minutes against Carlton in round four, the Dockers will review their performance against Port on Monday knowing mistakes were again made late against the Power when the game was on the line. 

The team was also aware that it needed to get a bigger score on the board after three straight games kicking nine goals, with Young putting the low scores down to a combination of factors. 

"We haven't been finishing off our work in front of goal a few times when we had some great opportunities, and then our connection inside forward 50 hasn't always given our forwards the best opportunity," the midfielder said.

"There's been a few times where we haven't been predictable, which has made it hard. We've still got to take a lot of confidence from our ability to get it in there and create opportunities, and we're just going to keep backing ourselves to finish off our work."


Young, who has a perfect 5-0 record in derbies, said he had learned to love the local rivalry since making his AFL debut in 2020 and playing his first match against the Eagles in 2021, when the Dockers ended an 11-game Western Derby losing streak. 

West Coast's first win of the season and the form of its midfield in a 39-point win against Richmond has breathed life into Saturday night's clash at Optus Stadium. 

"It feels like there's a bit of hype now which is great and we're really looking forward to getting back out there and keep building off some pretty good footy that we've been playing," Young said. 

"It's going to be a good week for the state. The Eagles look like they had a good game on the weekend so we're excited for the opportunity.

Hayden Young in action during Fremantle's clash against West Coast in round three, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"They've got some big strong bodies in [the midfield] and we like to think that we're a physical midfield and we match up against most midfields, so it should be a good battle.

"I've been lucky enough to win a few (derbies) and it's just a great feeling after the game if you can win, so we'll have to bring our best footy this weekend because the Eagles are in good form and we're looking forward to the challenge."