Neesham questions Schwab's position - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Neesham questions Schwab's position

By Justin Chadwick 02/06/2008 06:38:38 PM Comments (0)

Inaugural Fremantle coach Gerard Neesham has questioned whether the Dockers have made the right decision in allowing outgoing chief executive Cameron Schwab to see out the season.

Schwab has been instrumental in Fremantle's off-field revival since 2001 but announced in April he would be leaving the club at season's end - a year before his contract was due to expire.

Schwab, who will move back to Melbourne for family reasons, has already met with AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou about taking up a new position at AFL headquarters.

It is a role that would wield great influence in the establishment of franchises on the Gold Coast and western Sydney.

But Neesham questioned how Schwab could contribute to Fremantle's future planning with one foot already out the door.

"I find it an unusual situation that someone's still heavily involved in the day to day runnings of the club and they are moving on, yet you don't know where they are moving on to," Neesham told AAP.

"I think in the normal business world that person would shift immediately."

Seven straight losses have seen the Dockers, who entered 2008 in premiership mode, slump to a disastrous 1-9 record.

Fremantle possesses the oldest list in the competition and coach Mark Harvey has publicly stated he will turn his attention to youth at the next draft.

But Neesham said the Dockers had to tread carefully when contemplating a total list overhaul, saying the club risked losing superstar Matthew Pavlich if they entered an extensive rebuilding phase.

"It seems that (period from 2003 onwards) was the period in time where there was an opportunity to really press for finals and a grand final berth but ... that opportunity appears to have slipped," Neesham said.

"Do you go back and rebuild? They are in an unusual situation.

"If you decide you want to rebuild, what happens to Pavlich?

"He'll say 'hang on, I don't want to be in a rebuilding phase, I want to play in the finals or I want to move somewhere else'.

"So you expose yourself a bit on that front."

Fremantle's 28-point loss to Port Adelaide on the weekend marked the club's fifth consecutive game in which they squandered a three-quarter time lead.

It was the first time in VFL/AFL history that such a horrendous run had occurred, eclipsing St Kilda's run of four set back in 1940.

"Records are there to be broken - we've done it the opposite way," Fremantle vice-captain Josh Carr said.

"That's just the way football is.

"We are shattered with it and disappointed but you've got to move on."

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