Locked-in Lyon eyes off AFL flag glory

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says he’ll have no excuses if he fails to guide the Dockers to AFL premiership glory within the next five years.

Lyon will be at the Dockers until at least the end of 2020 after re-signing with the club for a further three years this week.

Since linking up with Fremantle at the end of 2011, Lyon has taken Fremantle to four straight finals appearances, the 2013 grand final and the 2015 minor premiership.

But the 49-year-old is yet to achieve flag success.

Premiership glory also eluded him at St Kilda, where he was involved in two losing grand finals.

But Lyon is optimistic about what lies ahead at Fremantle, believing the club is well placed to launch a premiership tilt this season and beyond.

“Ultimately none of us are satisfied with where we’re at,” Lyon said at the club’s season launch on Thursday.

“We’re certainly aiming for a premiership and we don’t shy away from that.

“Particularly by the end of this tenure, I’ll have no excuse to not have achieved that because we’re fully resourced, fully supported, and I’ve certainly got a time-frame where we can make short-term and long-term decisions to shift us to where we want to be.”

Lyon was already locked in at Fremantle until the end of 2017, but chief executive Steve Rosich said he approached the master coach over summer in a bid to extend the deal.

Lyon was more than happy to extend his time in Perth, where his family has become settled.

The Dockers remain among the favourites to win this year’s flag despite the retirement of Luke McPharlin and the ageing bodies of veterans Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands.

The recruitment of former Gold Coast bad boy Harley Bennell will give the Dockers extra star power through the midfield, allowing Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe to spend more time up forward.

Rumours are rife Fremantle have offered banned Essendon defender Cale Hooker a five-year deal to join the club.

Hooker will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and may be among a raft of players to leave Essendon following the club’s supplements saga.

“We’re certainly interested in looking at talented players that can add to our club and fit our list management model,” Rosich said.

“It’s well reported we think we can add to our tall stocks. That type of player could potentially fit.”

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