FREMANTLE will "always dare to dream" about a return to finals but must first look after its own business after snapping an 11-game losing run against West Coast in a famous Western Derby win on Sunday.
The Eagles, meanwhile, drew closer to an anticipated list transition at the end of the season after crashing to their sixth loss in eight games and losing control of their finals destiny.
DOCKERS v EAGLES Full match coverage and stats
Both teams remain chances to earn a finals spot if they win in round 23 but will be relying on Greater Western Sydney or Essendon to lose their matches against Carlton and Collingwood, respectively.
The Eagles, who fell out of the top eight for the first time since round six, will also likely need to beat Brisbane without Tim Kelly after the midfielder suffered a medial ligament injury to his left knee.
Fremantle faces St Kilda in the final round after winning its 10th game this season, its best result since its last finals appearance in 2015.
Coach Justin Longmuir acknowledged the Dockers' goal was to return to September but told his players not to be distracted by the finals carrot like they had earlier in the season.
"We always dare to dream … we just can’t spend too much time focusing on that," the coach said.
"(We need to) look after our own business.
"We have sometimes been distracted by outcomes and finals positions, outside noise and that has taken us away from our preparation. We got the mix right this week and we need to do the same next week."
Longmuir said the significance of ending West Coast's six-year Derby domination was big for the club's supporters but the team had not made much of the losing run, which only stretched two games under the second-year coach.
The day had been about retiring favourite Stephen Hill, who was unable to play a farewell game because of repeated soft-tissue injuries but did a lap of honour at half-time and was chaired off the ground by David Mundy, who also equalled the club record of 353 games.
The win had further highlighted to Longmuir the depth that was building at the club, which fielded the AFL's youngest team in round 22.
"To see some of the younger players out there executing their roles and standing up in the contest bodes well for the future. We are starting to build a really deep list," he said.
Meanwhile, West Coast faces a stern assessment of its list and coach Adam Simpson said the club was working hard on "what the next phase looks like".
"We know where we’re at. We know what's in front of us and what we need to do," the coach said.
"The list profile will change, like it has a few years ago. We’ve got some good kids coming through, we’ve given games to some young talent, and we need to hit the draft. That hasn’t changed.
"Everything you’re talking about, we know."
Simpson said Kelly was likely to miss the round 23 clash against the Lions with a medial ligament injury, while forward Jamie Cripps had lost teeth after being caught high by a stray David Mundy elbow when the Docker had the ball.
The coach said the first-quarter "obliteration" was due to both a mindset issue from his players and Fremantle's ability to out-pressure and out-hunt his team.
He highlighted the Eagles' poor tackling efficiency, which had been an issue throughout the season.
Simpson also dismissed any controversy about Caleb Serong's match-sealing goal, which was set up by an Adam Cerra kick after Cerra had appeared to carry the ball over the boundary line.
"I'm not critical of the umpires for that at all. We probably should have got him out of bounds. There were three or four opportunities," Simpson said.
"It's hard to be critical of umpires in that situation. You don't know what they see. The last three quarters was a really good game of footy for us. The first quarter was the problem."
The Eagles will discuss Willie Rioli's availability to take on the Lions early in the week, with Simpson saying the premiership forward had done "nothing but impress us" since returning.