Dockers to become AFL big boys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers to become AFL big boys

By Tom Wald 04/09/2003 07:38:56 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Chris Connolly says the Dockers are on course to become one of the powerhouse clubs of the AFL on the eve of an historic first finals appearance.

But Connolly, in his second year at the helm of the Dockers, was uncertain how his young team would react to the pressures of Friday night's elimination final against Essendon at Subiaco Oval.

The verbal jousting between Connolly and Bombers coach Kevin Sheedy this week has ensured a massive build-up to the first AFL final in Western Australia in seven years.

And despite a nine-year wait for its first final, Connolly said Fremantle had the potential to be one of the major movers and shakers in the AFL.

"Essendon, West Coast, Adelaide and Collingwood are the powerhouse clubs in the AFL," he said.

"To maximise our chances of winning premierships in the future we have to become a powerhouse.

"(Chairman) Rick Hart, (chief executive) Cameron Schwab, our directors and the management have taken significant steps forward to get us on the right track. We are a long way off getting to the powerhouse status, but the potential is there."

Connolly set out a three-year plan to become a force in the finals after arriving in Perth at the end of Fremantle's disastrous 2001, when it finished last with just two wins.

"We are under no illusions, we are fifth, we want to get into the top two and we have a fairly long way to go and this is a big step tomorrow night," he said.

He implored his players to seize the biggest day in the club's history.

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