Frustrated Dockers just need 'polish' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Frustrated Dockers just need 'polish'

By Justin Chadwick 23/06/2009 04:14:24 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle midfielder Paul Duffield admits the Dockers' run of near misses this season has been both a frustrating and promising experience for the rebuilding AFL club.

After a horror start to 2009, during which the Dockers lost their opening four games by an average of 52 points, Fremantle have moulded themselves into a fiercely competitive unit.

Three wins on the trot from rounds 5-7 put the competition on notice and the Dockers were unlucky not to get over the line in losses to Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Richmond and Port Adelaide from rounds 8-11.

Geelong was the latest club to encounter Fremantle's new-found zest for life and the Cats were left thanking their lucky stars after sneaking home for a hard-fought 19-point win.

Fremantle played six first-year players in that match and Duffield said the injection of youth had left the team in good stead for future success.

"We certainly feel like we've been very competitive, it is a bit frustrating," Duffield said on Tuesday.

"We've been right in games and it's probably a sign of where we're at with our youth and our game plan, but we certainly see that we've been right in the hunt to win a few more of these games.

"It's just that little bit of class and that little bit of polish that we need to make better of circumstances and better of moments in the game."

Duffield heaped particular praise on 22-year-old defender Greg Broughton, who has blossomed since being elevated onto the senior list earlier in the season.

Broughton was given the assignment of marking Steve Johnson last Sunday and although the Geelong dangerman snuck away for two last-quarter goals to finish with three for the match, Broughton collected 29 disposals and provided great rebound from defence.

"He was fantastic on the weekend, he did a great job," Duffield said.

"Steve Johnson is one of the premier forwards of the competition and not only did he (Broughton) win his fair share of contests with him, which is tough in itself, he actually did gather the ball as well."

The Dockers are set to be without defender Clancee Pearce (hamstring) for Saturday's clash with Collingwood at the MCG, while Des Headland (quad) and Michael Johnson (ankle) are expected to spend another week on the sidelines.

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