Dockers bank on Lyon for future success - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers bank on Lyon for future success

By Justin Chadwick 16/09/2011 07:18:22 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle's AFL hierarchy are praying the end result will justify the means.

With the careers of star veterans Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Luke McPharlin winding down, the Dockers have pinned their hopes on new coach Ross Lyon guiding the club to a premiership.

The sacking of popular coach Mark Harvey to appoint Lyon on a four-year deal caused an outpouring of mostly-negative emotions among Fremantle supporters, with many promising to rip up their memberships over the decision.

With public sentiment largely against them, Fremantle's hierarchy stood firm by their decision, claiming it was made in the best interests of the club.

In five seasons in charge of the Saints, Lyon led his charges into four finals series and three grand finals (including the 2010 drawn decider).

His winning record of 65.3 is the second highest of any current coach, with only Geelong's Chris Scott bettering him.

Lyon inherits a list brimming with talent but with some of their best players nearing retirement.

Pavlich turns 30 in December and, for the first time in his career, is starting to show some signs of wear.

Sandilands is 28 and coming off a year heavily disrupted by a toe injury.

McPharlin will turn 30 later this year and is playing some of the best footy of his career in defence.

Just one year after reaching the semi-finals, Fremantle lost their last seven games of the 2011 season to finish a paltry 11th with a 9-13 record.

But there were extenuating circumstances behind that, with an unbelievable list of injuries leaving the club with barely enough players to even field a team by the end of the year.

In the form of Stephen Hill, Anthony Morabito, Nat Fyfe, Hayden Ballantyne, Michael Barlow, Tendai Mzungu, Alex Silvagni, Zac Clarke, David Mundy and Chris Mayne, Fremantle boasts one of the most exciting crop of young players in the competition.

All in all, the future looks bright for Fremantle, and the Dockers' hierarchy hope they have now secured a coach that can take them all the way.

Lyon refused to make any bold predictions about what he could achieve in the coming years.

But it's clear the 44-year-old is after an elusive premiership after twice coming close at the Saints.

"Premierships are won with strong pre-seasons, a strong leadership group and a strong game plan, and those foundations are all laid in the next five months," Lyon said on Friday.

"It would be outlandish to make predictions, but we're in the business of trying to win premierships, so that's where it sits.

"It's about possibility.

"You've got to pursue excellence. You're either getting closer to your goal or you're getting further away, so that's the philosophy I bring and that's what we'll be pursuing."

Fremantle hope the brutal nature of Harvey's axing will slowly fade into the distant memory once the team starts enjoying on-field success.

"I think the real issue's what people want ... they want to see their clubs play finals and win premierships," president Steve Harris said.

Lyon donned a purple tie when he fronted the media on Friday, seemingly pleased to be in Fremantle colours.

"How does it look? Can you feel the colour? I think you can," he said in the only jovial moment of the otherwise brutal 25-minute press conference.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news