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Dockers veteran McPhee to repay faith

By Justin Chadwick 12/07/2010 07:42:35 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle veteran Adam McPhee says his desire to repay the faith shown in him by coach Mark Harvey helped inspire his AFL form turnaround.

McPhee, who was lured back to the Dockers on a three-year deal at the end of 2009, endured a disastrous start to the season, with his touch abandoning him as he struggled to find a niche at Fremantle.

But the 27-year-old has hit his straps over the past month, performing admirably in shut-down roles on Lenny Hayes and Chris Judd before excelling in defence in Saturday's 19-point loss to Richmond.

McPhee, who started his career at Fremantle before playing 142 games over seven seasons at Essendon, said he owed it to Harvey to provide leadership in such a young side.

"The aspect of wanting to play well for Mark is something that's in my mind," McPhee said on Monday.

"You know he showed a lot of faith in me and in time hopefully I can repay that back to him.

"I'll be endeavouring to make sure I work really hard not only on my own game but also using my knowledge and experience to help the young guys develop as well.

"I think that's part of my role coming back here.

"...Giving them direction and support out on the ground is part of my role as well."

McPhee underwent shoulder surgery over the summer and admitted his confidence took a battering during his early-season form slump.

"I certainly didn't get off to the start that I would have liked coming to a new club," he said.

"But I guess it's just put back down to the hard work out on the training track and looking back on previous games that I've played and just reminding yourself that you can still play at this level.

"Yes there's been some criticisms but internally I've played my role each week, that's probably the positive thing I got out of it."

McPhee, who tallied 23 possessions and 13 marks against the Tigers in defence, said he still wasn't quite sure what his best position in the Fremantle team was.

"I think I'm still sort of trying to work that out," McPhee said.

"I know that I've played a lot of football down back and I think I can still play down there but it's all about the personnel as well and what's more important is winning games.

"So if it means I've got to play forward for the sake of the team then I will, if it means I play midfield or back the same thing.

"I'm not going to get focused in on what's best for me, it's what's best for the team and winning games of football."

Fremantle sit a game clear inside the top-four but are keeping a keen eye on the fifth-placed Bulldogs, who returned to form on the weekend with a 68-point win over Carlton.

The Dockers could be bolstered by the return of Nat Fyfe, Greg Broughton and Chris Tarrant for Sunday's clash with Melbourne at Subiaco Oval.

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