WHILE we wait for play to resume, and with the little bit of knowledge we've gleaned from round one, we're taking this opportunity to put the microscope on every club.
THE PRESSURE GAUGE Which coach is under the most heat?
This is Fremantle's Shutdown Report Card. >> LISTEN IN THE PLAYER BELOW
The biggest lesson from round one was …
Fremantle desperately needs two Michael Walters'. The club's leading goalkicker last season, Walters can provide the spark that the Dockers so often lack from their key-position targets when he plays in attack. However, when given more midfield minutes in the second half against Essendon, he inspired the team's comeback from 28 points down. Where new coach Justin Longmuir uses him in the future remains a pivotal decision.
What's their weapon in 2020?
Fremantle might have one of the youngest and most inexperienced lists in the competition this season, but it does have genuine A-Graders at its disposal. Dual Brownlow medallist and reigning winner Nat Fyfe remains one of the game's best players, while Michael Walters was also an All-Australian last season. Having also recruited six first-round draft picks in the last three years (with five of those top-10 picks), the Dockers are building a strong core of talent.
What could be their downfall?
Key-position depth at either end of the field could be tested this year. In attack, Fremantle had no tall forwards kick more than 20 goals last season. Rory Lobb still appears more suited in the ruck, leaving Cam McCarthy and Matt Taberner as the only real marking targets in the forward line. Down back, without Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling in round one, the responsibility was heaped upon on the shoulders of youngster Griffin Logue.
Who missed out on round one and what does it mean for them?
There were a pair of notable omissions from Fremantle's round one side, including Connor Blakely and Brandon Matera. Both played virtually every match they were available for last season, but appear out of favour under new coach Justin Longmuir. Despite being touted as a future replacement for David Mundy in the Dockers' midfield, Blakely was dropped for the club's second Marsh Community Series match and couldn't crack a round one team that was without Mundy – who is injured. Matera was absent despite kicking 30 goals last season.
Which players could benefit from the break between games?
Joel Hamling has established himself as an integral member of Fremantle's backline, but an ankle injury sustained at training in February had ruined his chances of playing early in the season. Despite the club not setting a timeframe for his recovery, there's no doubt the break between games will ease the rush on Hamling to return. Alex Pearce had also missed round one due to an ankle injury, but the Dockers will hope both are ready to play once the season resumes.
Who looked set for a breakout season?
Concussion issues meant Sam Sturt missed out on a debut in his maiden season with Fremantle last year, but the 189cm forward showed why he was a first-round draft pick in round one. Playing predominantly in attack, Sturt kicked three goals from 10 disposals and displayed the type of poise and energy that had many recruiters excited about his potential throughout his draft year. He'd be desperate for the season to resume.
The marketplace …
Perhaps the most intriguing uncontracted Fremantle player is Brennan Cox. The versatile South Australian garnered interest from a host of clubs during last year's Telstra AFL Trade Period, with rival teams rating his ability to play at either end of the field at 195cm. Bailey Banfield, Brett Bewley, Brandon Matera and Cam McCarthy will also need to be tied to new deals.