Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will consider playing Nat Fyfe predominantly as a forward as the club searches for a way to build an attack capable of winning a premiership.
Fremantle’s flag hopes were brought to a crashing halt for another year on Friday night when they slumped to a 27-point loss to Hawthorn in the preliminary final.
The Dockers managed just 10 goals for the match, continuing a trend in which the club’s lack of attacking firepower has come back to bite them when it’s mattered most.
Fremantle booted 10 goals against Sydney and 11 goals against Port during their straight-sets exit from last year’s finals series, while they kicked a wayward 8.14 in the 2013 grand final loss to Hawthorn.
The Dockers’ bid to improve their attack will get even harder if skipper Matthew Pavlich announces his retirement as expected.
If that eventuates, it would leave fringe forward Matt Taberner as the club’s leading spearhead.
This year, 177cm goalsneak Michael Walters led the club’s goalkicking with 44 majors.
Taberner managed just 14 goals in 15 games.
Fyfe has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the competition.
And he has proven equally skillful up forward, where his strong marking and high leaping make him a nightmare match-up for opposition defences.
Although Fyfe’s goalkicking from set shots remains a concern, his knack of producing brilliant contested marks makes him an offensive weapon.
Lyon is keen to lure a ready-made spearhead to the club in time for next season, with the Dockers eager to trade heavily or explore free agency options.
But if that plan falls through, Lyon could switch Fyfe from the midfield into attack.
“I don’t see us with a salary cap advantage to go and get a power forward for a $1million,” Lyon said.
“That doesn’t happen, so we are going to have to find a way to get more front-end talent through.
“We might get a midfielder through and play Fyfe forward.
“We acknowledge that we’d like to improve our offence.
“We would like more players of the calibre of Michael Walters and what Matthew (Pavlich) has produced at his best.”
With Pavlich and Luke McPharlin set to retire, Fremantle’s premiership window is in danger of closing.
But Lyon is optimistic his team can stay in the flag hunt next year.
And he knows his job depends on it.
“I’m not sitting here saying I’m a genius,” Lyon said.
“I’m sitting here thinking I’m not getting it done.
“I have two years to run on a contract. They brought me over to win.”