Fremantle star Nat Fyfe training the house down… up forward

David Mundy and Ross Lyon have had to address rumours around Nat Fyfe. Photo: Supplied Nat Fyfe has completed an intense two week long training camp in LA. Photo: @natfyfe
Nanjing Night Net

Nat Fyfe at Fremantle training this week. Photo: Fremantle FC

Fremantle champion Nat Fyfe has given no clear sign of a new contract but there is distinct evidence he will spend time as a goal-scoring forward as the Dockers rebuild their finals hopes this year.

The Dockers captain-in-waiting has been especially conspicuous pre-season with productive forward line practice in match simulation as the 2015 Brownlow medallist prepares for a full playing return after missing all but five games of last season with a broken lower left leg.

Fyfe has regularly engaged as a specialist forward in one-on-one contests and grappling marking and goal kicking drills with typical class and efficiency.

He is a regular in hit-outs opposed to Dockers key defensive veteran Zac Dawson as well as new full-back and Western Bulldogs premiership recruit Joel Hamling.

It flags prospects the imposing ball-magnet will float forward for crucial one-out contests inside a cleared 50m arc as a specialist goal avenue or when taking important spells away from his midfield requirements as an alternative to resting on the bench, with rotations again limited to 90 in 2017.

Fyfe, 25, looks almost certain to be a key scoring weapon in a new-look forward brigade after the retirement of irreplaceable champion Matthew Pavlich and departure of goal-line regular Chris Mayne to Collingwood through last October’s trading.

Senior development coach Marc Webb said Fyfe has used his time off well and is getting back to his imposing best.

“It’s just the amount of training he’s been able to get in, and we certainly haven’t seen him miss much on the track… he’s only missed one session this pre-season,” Webb said.

Key forward import Cam McCarthy continues to rise in his gifted and imposing presence around Dockers forward zone match rehearsals and often also noticeably in tandem with Fyfe.

Fyfe has offered appreciably noticeable encouragement to the former Greater Western Sydney forward the longer he has been a regular and impressive track performer.

McCarthy has finally switched to become a Docker after sitting out of the game for a year waiting for his trade back west.

Fyfe has completed every Dockers training session since returning to the full group in November after a complete recovery from his broken leg and having a pin surgically removed that had been in place to assist complete healing.

The brilliant play-maker even headed to the US for training refinement in intense, elite-level fitness and strengthening regimes.

His full recovery and heavy training commitments and leadership on the track is understood to have won Fyfe substantial respect and support from the Docker’s playing group ahead of this month’s election for captain.

Fyfe is believed to have emerged as a front-runner to win the player vote and replace veteran midfielder David Mundy, who was captain last season after Dockers great Matthew Pavlich stepped down as he played out the final season of his 353-game career.

Dockers head coach Ross Lyon is believed to have had distinct intentions for Fyfe and injury-ravaged import Harley Bennell to alternate through forward line and on-ball duties last season.

Fyfe suffered a recurrence of a fracture in his fibula early in the round five clash with Carlton at home last April, the same injury the star play-maker suffered in the 2015 finals series.

Bennell did not manage an outing in his first season at Fremantle after a succession of serious calf injuries.

After a visit to world-renowned soft tissue injury expert Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfarht in Germany, Bennell is tipped to make a full recovery in time to kick-start his stalled career at his adopted outfit after 81 senior games at Gold Coast before his switch to the Dockers.

The 24-year-old is still not back into full training despite continued claims the potentially damaging follower and goal-finishing forward is expected to be at peak fitness in time for a round one showdown with Geelong on March 26 at Domain Stadium.

As much as evidence of Fyfe refining his imposing one-on-one marking and leading strengths with sure goal-kicking on the run or from set shots in match-play, Bennell’s continued absence from main training is similarly conspicuous.

For the past fortnight, veteran small forward Hayden Ballantyne has also been on restricted duties ahead of this month’s pre-season series.

Fremantle launch their summer series against arch rival West Coast in Geraldton on Saturday February 25.

Prolific ball winner Lachie Neale resumed full training a week ago after his delayed start from ankle, wrist and shoulder surgery.

The reigning Dockers fairest-and-best is expected to play at least two of the summer games against West Coast in the state’s mid-north west or more likely Collingwood at Mandurah and Carlton at Domain early next month.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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