Fremantle will return to Perth on Saturday evening after its clash with Hawthorn in Launceston after a three-match stint on the road.
It looms as a timely boost as the Dockers fight to keep their finals dream alive heading into the run home.
The Dockers were counting the cost of their wayward goalkicking that has dogged them all season once again on Saturday night in a ‘home’ fixture at the MCG against Carlton, kicking 8.16 for the match.
Fremantle has scored more behinds than goals 11 times this season, and after having more chances and scoring shots than Carlton on Saturday night, cost themselves an opportunity to jump into the top eight.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, senior coach Justin Longmuir said that the players are putting more pressure on each other at training to emulate match conditions.
“The pressure does build,” he said, counting the cost of plenty of missed opportunities in front of goal.
“I think we were first in the AFL for set shots on goal last year and now we’re last. So it has been a big turnaround and something we need to work on, but we will continue to chip away at it and hope it swings.
“Players who have lots of shots in games have lots of shots at training, and trying to make sure they stand up under pressure.
“[I’ve] seen some improvements in some players, while some haven’t quite got it and continue to work on it.”
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With the clash against Hawthorn this week followed by a stretch of winnable games at home at Optus Stadium, Longmuir is bullish about his young side’s ability to put last Saturday night behind them.
He says they’re drawing on past experiences from this season to bounce back strongly.
“We’ve been through some disappointing losses this year already,” Longmuir said
“The weekend was disappointing but our season isn’t done and dusted, there are still plenty of opportunities to improve.”
Despite a big week at Hawthorn, Longmuir said it would be hard to quantify what is going on inside the four walls at Waverley Park.
He’s instead channelling his energy to what he can control and what he’s seen of Hawthorn since the mid-season bye.
“We just prepare for what we know. What I know is that the Hawks have improved their footy since the bye.
“They’ve been really competitive playing a really tough, good, honest brand of footy.”
In a boost for Fremantle later in the season, veteran midfielder Stephen Hill has recovered from a hamstring injury and is set to return on managed minutes for WAFL-aligned side Peel Thunder this weekend.
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