Dockers downplay AFL rumours of Fyfe rift

Dockers downplay AFL rumours of Fyfe rift

Fremantle skipper David Mundy says he is shocked to hear about rumours of a rift between Hayden Ballantyne and Nat Fyfe, denying reports the player group have splintered.

Rumours of player unrest are growing at Fremantle, with Ballantyne already seeking a trade away from the AFL club despite having a year to run on his contract.

Ballantyne is reportedly among a group of players who have been unhappy with Fyfe’s leadership style.

Mundy admits the demands that himself, Fyfe, and coach Ross Lyon place on the group can be challenging for some players to handle at times.

But he doesn’t think it’s led to resentment.

When asked about rumours that Ballantyne wants to leave because of a rift with Fyfe, Mundy replied: “That surprises me. That’s the first I’ve ever heard of that. That certainly shocks me.”

And Mundy said he doesn’t think there’s a divide between Fyfe and some other players.

“Nat’s clearly a very demanding leader at times, and knows what he wants,” Mundy said.

“We love that about him. We respect that and we value that in the football club.

“Sometimes that may get people offside. But Nat especially is coming from a place to help everyone improve. Our group understands that.

“So whilst there might be moments where myself, Nat, or Ross might get someone offside, it’s all for the betterment of the team.”

The reports of player unrest could make it even harder for Fremantle to re-sign Fyfe.

The Brownlow medallist is out of contract at the end of next season, and he’s already said he’ll explore his free agency options before deciding whether to re-sign with the Dockers.

Fremantle are a club in crisis following one of their worst seasons.

The 3-17 win-loss record makes for horrible reading. But it’s the talk of player discontent that has rocked the ship the most.

And it hasn’t been smooth sailing in the coaching ranks either.

Development coach Peter Sumich – who was once Lyon’s right-hand man – abruptly left the club last week.

But first-year skipper Mundy claims the environment within the club is at “polar opposites” to what’s being reported.

And he said suggestions of a fracture within the player group were wide of the mark.

“We’re not splintering at all. We’re working together,” said Mundy, who’ll notch his 250-game milestone in Saturday’s clash with Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium.

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