16/04/2024

Nathan Fyfe ahead of his 200th game this weekend. Photo: Fremantle Dockers/Michael Wilson

Nathan Fyfe has plenty more to give to Fremantle beyond the 200 game milestone which he brings up this week.

When he crosses the white line to lead the Dockers out to play Hawthorn in Launceston on Saturday afternoon, Nathan Fyfe will become just the 11th Fremantle player to notch the 200 game milestone.

A significant achievement that isn’t lost on the 29-year-old Lake Grace product who is one of the most universally respected and loved players in the game.

Already a two-time Brownlow Medallist, two-time Leigh Matthews trophy winner, three-time All Australian, and three-time club best and fairest winner, Fyfe is currently leading Fremantle through an exciting period as the young talent on the list emerges and grows in front of him.

After the uncertainty surrounding matches and being on the road, Fyfe finally has time to reflect on the milestone now that the next two weeks are locked in.

“For me, 200 games, it’s a great chance for me to acknowledge the people that have been a part of getting me this far,” Fyfe said on Thursday.

“I never thought I’d be able to last this long with my body and mind but really grateful for that and looking forward to playing a few more games still to come.”

One of the most physical and combative players in the game, Fyfe has had his bouts of serious injuries and concussions to overcome during his career. He conceded that due to the nature in which he plays that the milestone might have been put out of his reach at some point in time.

“At different stages across the journey with major surgeries and concussion, it does creep into your mind.

“Overwhelmingly, I’ve had really good medical teams around me, giving good advice with good preparation I’d always be able to string together a good amount of games.

“200 is a nice little milestone.”

His plans beyond his 200th game, continue being one of the game’s most combative and dominant midfielders.

“Early days, particularly once I got a bit bigger and stronger, I wanted to be that competitive beast, that combative attacking inside player,” Fyfe said.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to become more efficient and smarter with the way I go about it, like a Scott Pendlebury type of player.

“That hasn’t really come to life for me. I find myself still this year, I’ve had a concussion, a loose shoulder, and a number of other little niggles. My game is my game, I think it makes sense just to stick to your strengths.”

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The Dockers regeneration has been building before the AFL world for all to see over the last two seasons under Justin Longmuir.

As young midfielders Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra, and Caleb Serong make their mark on the competition, Fyfe, along with fellow elder statesman David Mundy is still a key cog in the Fremantle engine room.

“I’m not a great forward and I feel like my best footy is in the midfield. I can pinch-hit there but I’ll keep playing to my strengths for as long as I can and work within team balance,” Fyfe said.

“We’ve got some genuine guns coming through in the midfield and my job is to help nurture and mentor them through. I’ve got no intention of winding down at the back of my career.”

Despite all he has achieved to date, Fyfe is still as driven as ever and sees different opportunities for self-growth and improvement later in his career.

“The game demands a lot and staying motivated for 200 games, or 12 years, is as big a challenge as any,” Fyfe said.

“The evolution of me as a leader, awareness, my understanding of preparation and performance, I’m certainly not a finished product.

“I’m grateful to have good leadership and mentors to get me through to this point and I’m looking forward to seeing how the next four or five years develop.”

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