FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir believes his decision to suspend in-form forward Michael Frederick for a week will help the club achieve future success.

Frederick will miss Saturday's clash with Hawthorn at Optus Stadium after breaking the team's alcohol rules by drinking during a six-day break between games.

The 22-year-old has been a key figure in the club's recent wins over top-two sides Melbourne and Brisbane, and Longmuir believes Frederick's absence against Hawthorn will hurt Fremantle's chances of winning a third straight game.

00:45 Mins
Published on

Fast Frederick fires through another for the Dockers

Michael Frederick scores his second goal to extend Fremantle's lead over Brisbane

Published on

Longmuir said the decision to ban Frederick was made for the greater good of the team.

"I said to the players yesterday, it might hurt our chances of winning this weekend by not having 'Freddy' out there, but walking past these things will stop us winning in the future," Longmuir said.

"We need to step on it. He’s going to learn a tough lesson. He’s made a bad decision.

"He clearly stepped outside the behaviours we accept, and he knew that.

"He owned up to it, fessed up to it, apologised really sincerely. I know he’ll learn from it and come back a better person and player."

Michael Frederick kicks a goal for Fremantle in round 12 against Brisbane at Optus Stadium on June 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Longmuir said it was important for players to abstain from alcohol during shortened breaks between games.

"Drinking on a six-day break is just not great for recovery," Longmuir said.

"It’s a short turnaround in AFL footy, and we need everyone to recover the best they can.

"That (drinking) doesn’t allow you to do it. That’s been a rule, it’s probably a rule at most footy clubs, and he’s clearly stepped outside of that."

Alex Pearce leads the Dockers into the rooms after the round 12 win over Brisbane at Optus Stadium on June 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Fremantle are set to be bolstered by the return of Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters, and Sam Switkowski against the Hawks, but forward Matt Taberner won't be seen until after the mid-season bye due to a lingering back injury.

"It probably just hasn’t responded the way we would have liked and the way it has in the past," Longmuir said.

"He’s just been a bit interrupted this year, in and out. He hasn’t got the continuity we’d like.

"We have to make sure we get that right, because he’s a really important part of our team and can make a big difference for us."

Fyfe was mobbed by fans during his comeback game in the WAFL on Saturday, and Longmuir said so far the two-time Brownlow medallist had "dodged a bullet" on the COVID-19 front.

Nat Fyfe runs onto the ball while playing for Peel Thunder in round seven WAFL against the Subiaco Lions at Leederville Oval on June 4, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Hawthorn will be without forward Jack Gunston (ankle), but Sam Frost will return from suspension and Jack Scrimshaw (concussion) could also be available.

Ruckman Max Lynch and Josh Ward will remain sidelined because of concussion.

Meanwhile, Fremantle chief executive Simon Garlick says the lure of premiership glory this year won't distract from his goal of guiding the club to a period of sustained success.

The Dockers have shot into flag contention on the back of their stunning 9-3 start to the season, which has included wins over reigning premier Melbourne and second-placed Brisbane.

The "Flagmantle" mania has already begun among Dockers fans, with some even starting to book flights to Melbourne for this year's grand final.

Fremantle unveiled an ambitious four-year plan at the end of 2021 which included claiming the club's maiden AFL and AFLW premierships by 2025 and averaging 50,000 fans for its home games at Optus Stadium.

Fremantle fans celebrate after the win over Brisbane in round 12 on June 5, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"This is year-two of this strategic plan. If we are able to tick off some of those aspirations and goals, that would be fantastic," Garlick said.

"Our over-riding aim is to build a club and a team that can sustainably contend, and can do so over a five, 10, 15-year period.

"There’s precedents of it all over the competition, and it can be done.

"If success can come early, that’s fantastic. But we’re focusing on that big picture."