Fremantle coach Ross Lyon insists he’s not worried about the trade speculation surrounding some of his AFL stars, declaring the Dockers are a destination club who will soon be a powerful on-field force again.
Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe sent a shock through the Dockers earlier this week when he said he would explore his free agency options before deciding whether to re-sign with Fremantle.
Fyfe is contracted until the end of next season, but the 24-year-old would be hot property on the open market if he decides to leave under free agency.
And there are rumours goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne might explore a move away from the club.
Lyon says Ballantyne hasn’t indicated to him that he wants to be traded.
Chris Mayne, Zac Clarke, Matt de Boer, and Clancee Pearce are unrestricted free agents who could be on the move, while the future of uncontracted midfielder Michael Barlow is also unclear.
Fringe midfielder Nick Suban has already been linked to a move east.
But there is some good news for Fremantle.
Homesick GWS forward Cam McCarthy is desperate to move to the Dockers, while Hawthorn premiership midfielder Bradley Hill has also expressed a desire to switch to Fremantle.
And rising GWS star Rory Lobb could also end up at the Dockers after reports emerged the 23-year-old was exploring a move back to WA.
Fremantle are likely to finish 16th this year after snaring just three wins from 19 games.
The Dockers have struggled to attract key position players in recent years, leaving some noticeable holes in both defence and attack.
But Lyon was doing his best to spruik the club on Friday, saying he fully expects his current stars to keep “buying in”, and others to join them.
“We see ourselves as a big club,” Lyon said.
“Over the last three years we’ve won the second most games. For four years we’ve played finals. There’s only been a couple of clubs who have done that.
“We’re about to unveil a $107m (training and administration) facility the likes this country hasn’t seen, and is unlikely to see again for a fair while.
“We’ve got some of the best under 23s in the country, or 24 … Fyfe, (Harley) Bennell, (Michael) Walters, (Lachie) Neale – those sort of guys.
“And we’re 52,000 members. We’ve got powerful sponsors. So why wouldn’t you want to come here if you’re a WA kid?”
AFL great Mick Malthouse predicts Fremantle will miss the finals again next year – and he’s not alone.
But Lyon is optimistic he can orchestrate a quick turnaround.
“Belief’s a choice,” Lyon said.
“Results are nice to have, but I don’t need results to believe in where we’re heading.
“I believe we’re going to work our way through. History’s littered with clubs that go down and come back up, and we believe we’re going to be one of those clubs.”