Round 17 – Fremantle v Geelong: Character building at Subiaco

Character building at Subiaco


By Patrick Smith


Shades of yesterday for Dockers supporters as a depleted Fremantle dared to challenge Geelong at Subiaco on Friday. Four goals to the Dockers and just one to the Cats in the first quarter reminded fans of their first years when the new striplings often surprised powerhouse teams with a puzzling and carefree style.
Barlow was back to his steady best winning at contests and finding space like the Scarlet Pimpernel. Stephen Hill found space to run and delivered with his laser passes; what a joy to watch his flowing left foot kick delivered so well. Very quickly the Dockers were 4 goals to one and looking very polished.


Geelong came back harder in the second quarter and by half time had cut the margin to a point.  Walters was busy and elusive and for Geelong Dangerfield showed his brilliance with sustained run and delivery notching four goals for the match.


Third quarter honours went to Geelong but inaccurate kicking and  Fremantles backline pressure saw a string of points and until well into the last term Dockers fans were thinking the unlikely might happen as their wounded warriors refused to lie down. The team effort and skill was impressive and was bookended by young tyros Blakely Weller, Cummins and Taberner with the veteran Pavlich showing he still has plenty to offer.
What a class act is Dangerfield; fast, elusive, skilful and just a superb athlete. He was the critical difference in the end. Enright was so consistent in the back line as was Spurr for the Dockers. Stephen Hill flowed and Walters was his elusive and energetic best. Hawkins again strangely quiet. So a light in the tunnel for the struggling Dockers. How quickly fortunes have turned from last years dream run of 9 straight wins to 15th place on the ladder.


How do supporters manage their shattered dreams. Here is a formula:


  1. First don’t take it too seriously.
  2. As a loyal supporter my role is not to plan winning strategies. That is
    for coaches and players. My task is to cheer especially in difficult times
    because I am sure they don’t like losing. So I cheer, Enjoy the small
    successes and watch some new talent develop as I dream for the future. A
    couple of strong drinks help to ease the pain.

That said how much worse can it get. Barlow out for the rest of the year and Ballantyne injured and Freo face five top eight teams over the next eight weeks. Character building indeed. But Look at Melbourne and GWS as they have climbed from the cellar of a few years ago. I was left feeling satisfied that they had fought a good fight and showed promise for the future. Surely that’s better than a poke in the eye.



Geelong:   1.3  6.7  8.11  11.12
Fremantle: 4.1  7.2  7.3    9.7
Goals: Geelong: P Dangerfield 4, Z Smith 2, D Menzel, J Murdoch, N Cockatoo,
R Stanley, T Hawkins
Fremantle: C Blakely, C Sutcliffe, D Mundy, H Ballantyne, L Weller, M
Barlow, M Pavlich, M Taberner, M Walters.



Best: Geelong: Dangerfield, Enright, J Selwood, Duncan, Smith, Mackie
Fremantle: S Hill, D Mundy, M Walters, L Neale, C Blakely, Z Dawson



Umpires: Dalgleish, Findlay, Mitchell


Our votes: Dangerfield, Barlow, Sutcliffe


  1. Richard Jones says

    So, this is not THE Patrick Smith of The Australian ??
    Or is it.

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