Logan McDonald and Josh Treacy. Pictures: AFL Photos

WHEN Fremantle's list team finished its work at the end of last year's Trade Period and considered how it would eventually use three future first-round draft picks in 2024, potential Sydney target Logan McDonald would have sat atop a very narrow field of tall forward options. 

But the possibilities have opened remarkably for the Dockers this year as the rapid emergence of powerful goalkicker Josh Treacy removes the desperation for another key forward and transforms the club's list priorities.

Indeed, five months out from this year's player exchange period in October, Fremantle is now in the enviable position of holding a trio of prized selections and having an open mind on how they can be used. 


McDonald and the Swans will face a Fremantle team on Friday night that is being led in attack by Treacy (18 goals this season) alongside the talented Jye Amiss, with the young pair's chemistry set to be a feature of the team's forward line for the next 10 years. 

Add the versatility of Luke Jackson, who played five minutes as an onballer in each quarter against Richmond on Sunday, and the tall posts are settled, with Pat Voss proving he will be a good replacement when needed and veteran Matt Taberner adding more depth. 

The Dockers were preparing themselves at the end of last season to make a play for McDonald, who has kicked 17 goals in 2024, but that option now appears increasingly remote as the young West Australian settles at the Swans in his fourth year.

Logan McDonald kicks a goal during round six, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

How the Dockers then plans to use their three prime selections, which are linked to the finishing positions of Collingwood, Port Adelaide and Fremantle itself, will be one of the crucial player movement questions of the season.

The first priority should be a small forward who will eventually replace five-time leading goalkicker Michael Walters and boost the firepower of a forward line that has mostly been big on pressure but low on goals from its medium and small players this year. 

Following star Hayden Young's successful shift to the midfield, there is also room for another half-back who can provide overlap run and damaging disposal to support Jordan Clark. 


If midfield options present in the off-season, then adding more outside run rather than inside ball-winning will be the priority, given the elite combination of Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw, Nat Fyfe and Young. 

Matthew Johnson, who has been forced to a wing for much of this season, showed his ability inside against Richmond when given the chance on Sunday, while Neil Erasmus (34 disposals and nine inside 50s) and Will Brodie (34 and four) are performing at an AFL standard with Peel Thunder but can't break into the team as inside midfielders. 

In the key defensive posts, the club has been pleased with the performances of Josh Draper since replacing the injured Brennan Cox, while there is confidence that 19-year-old Hugh Davies could soon do similar if required. 

Overall, the selected team against Richmond ranked 16th for age in round eight and 14th for games' experience, and the Dockers won't be forced into desperate moves to replace retiring players. 

It's a powerful position to be in as the club prepares to get a first-hand look at McDonald on Friday night at Optus Stadium. As opposed to six months' ago, they can do so this time with an open mind about whether he is the type of player the team now needs to take the next step.