Nat Fyfe sits at the back of the bench after being subbed out of the game between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle at Marvel Stadium in round 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

FORMER Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe is staring down the barrel of another possible stint on the sidelines after a flare-up of his plantar fasciitis issue.

Fyfe was subbed off at three-quarter time of Fremantle's 29-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, with coach Justin Longmuir revealing the reason behind his removal from the game was the foot injury.

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The 31-year-old missed rounds two to seven with the delicate problem earlier this year. Plantar fasciitis can be a difficult injury to overcome, with load management often key to settling the inflammation.

"His foot has gotten sore. It's the same foot he's had issues with this year, and it was sore. So fresh legs, an opportunity to get [substitute Neil Erasmus] in," Longmuir said.

"[A timeline is] too early to tell, we'll see how it pulls up.

"He'd be disappointed, having been subbed out and it flaring up again. We'll get him home, assess it further and see what it means.

"It's funny, plantar fasciitis, they never really go away until you get an extended period of time off. Yeah, he's had some awareness there, but it got a bit sorer than usual, and he felt like he couldn't go anymore."


The Dockers hit the lead at the seventh minute mark of the final term, but conceded five straight goals, leaving Longmuir ruing missed opportunities in the second and third quarters.

"For a little period of time we lost control in the contest, whether that was at the source, clearance, they kicked three stoppage goals in a row," he said.

"Our backs, particularly early, were holding up really well, and we just couldn't hold up in that moment. Three goals pretty quickly turned into five and the game was blown open.

"It's disappointing, because we were so good for most of the day. We ended up plus-18 ground ball, ended up winning the contest.

"Those middle two quarters we were up in the contest, owned field position and I think we only kicked four goals in the second and third quarters, when I thought we had probably the majority of field position, we won inside 50s in that period, the amount of forward 50 stoppages we had.

"I thought territory in the third quarter was really strong, but we just didn't maximise that. We were as ineffective as we've been, going forward, in that time. They were either shallow entries, we weren't predictable to each other [or] we didn't provide clear targets."


Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge echoed Longmuir's thoughts about Fremantle's period of dominance, and was pleased with how his side toughed out the victory.

"We weathered a bit of a storm there in the third term with all the stoppages they had in their forward 50, and I thought the boys did well," Beveridge said.

"It was a focus this afternoon to do that better. North Melbourne, in our previous game we played, got probably four goals from their forward 50 (stoppages), and two from ours, going the full length of the ground, which is unusual. As a collective, we were really displeased with it.

"I thought the boys just held their nerve. To be up, then provide a bit of momentum back the other way through some ball use and decisions in the 0-40 (zone), that was a bit of a concern.

"So, to keep our composure, come again, what the lads did in the last quarter was fantastic."


Rising forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan kicked 4.2 from his 15 disposals and nine marks, with two goal assists to boot.

"Every week, Marra's getting harder and harder to play against. He's working extremely hard, and there's good variety in his game," Beveridge said.

"His field kicking and decision aspect probably between arcs and going over the 50m line when he's outside there, he's continuing to focus on improvements there, because he's getting up the ground and he's getting back.

"But his highest point aerial game is on point. It's a difficult thing to contend with, but he's working hard early to give himself some space and look like he wants the ball. Over the last period of time, we've been able to get it too him. He had a really influential afternoon."