Nat Fyfe, Alex Pearce and Caleb Serong line up as the teams pay their respects to former player Cam McCarthy ahead of the match between Fremantle and Sydney at Optus Stadium in round nine, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir was proud of his team's ability to compete in Friday night's clash against Sydney after the tragic death of former teammate Cam McCarthy almost forced some players to miss the match. 

The Dockers were rocked by news that McCarthy had died suddenly on Thursday evening and players were visibly emotional before and after the game, with Nat Fyfe and Alex Pearce laying flowers on Optus Stadium after the match in tribute. 

Swans coach John Longmire acknowledged the heartache being felt by Fremantle and the difficulty the team would have faced, with Longmuir supporting his players after a 48-point loss at Optus Stadium

DOCKERS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

"Some of our players have done it tough and I was really proud of the way they were able to go out there and compete tonight, given the difficulties of the last 24 hours," Longmuir said. 

"I'm really proud of the way the club came together and put our arms around those who are hurting, and I was really proud of those players for going out there and competing the way they did.

"We had players that were very close to not playing, so I'm proud of the way they went out and competed in difficult circumstances."


The Dockers made a late change to their selected emergencies as a precaution in case certain players were unable to play, speaking about the tragic circumstances pre-game before focusing on the match. 

Longmuir didn't believe the players' overall performance had been impacted. 

"That's what makes me proud. If you look at three-quarter time and you look at the stats, we were up in contested ball, we were up in inside 50s, we were turning the ball over in our front half, and we've had more shots from stoppage," he said. 

"If you had have given me that at the start of the night, I would have taken it.

"So clearly at one stage they'd kicked 10 straight and we kicked 1.9 … and we had 26 shots on goal for I think 18 scoring shots and eight missed shots. That was the story of the game."


Longmire, whose Swans are now 8-1 and a game clear atop the ladder, was mindful of the Dockers' challenges on Friday and passed on his club's deepest condolences to McCarthy's family, friends, and Fremantle. 

The coach was proud of his team's professional performance on the road, with midfield recruit James Jordon celebrated for his run-with role on damaging Freo half-back Jordan Clark.    

"He's been terrific since he's come to the footy club. He can do a number of different roles and he's got a great temperament," Longmire said of the former Demon. 

"You're trying to stop the opposition and one of the real threats, and you need to know when to do that and when you can get the ball, and his balance has been pretty good. 

"So the opposition have always got a threat and the last couple of weeks trying to reduce the threats have been important."


The Swans won with former co-captain Luke Parker out of the team again, with Longmire pleased with the midfielder's professional attitude while biding his time to return at AFL level.  

"We want to make sure we get the best team that we think can help us, and at some stage Luke is going to be part of that and a really important part. I'm really confident of that," the coach said. 

"So we just felt that tonight, we picked the best team to give us the best chance. 

"His attitude has been fantastic. He's a real leader and important player and he's been such a big presence for a long time … but at the same time, he wants to play senior footy, and I think everyone would understand that. 

"He should be fit and hard and ready to go at some stage and will come into the team and play, and that'll be good thing."