Coach – Justin Longmuir
Points For – 15th
Points Against – 11th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
1 – Caleb Serong
2 – Andrew Brayshaw
3 – Luke Ryan
4 – Luke Jackson
5 – Hayden Young
2023 Rising Star Noms
Jye Amiss (Rnd 11)
Matthew Johnson (Rnd 23)
Ins – Jack Delean, Odin Jones, Oscar McDonald, Ollie Murphy, Cooper Simpson, Jeremy Sharp
Outs – Eric Benning, Travis Colyer, Joel Hamling, Liam Henry, Lachie Schultz, Nathan Wilson
This year’s coach in the gun is the wunderkind of two years ago. The media spent 2022 talking him up and how great he was before he achieved anything. Even last year they made excuses for the under performance, but you have to believe they will be coming for him this year when the inevitable rough performances come. They have lost depth from their list which was already pretty thin.
The backline was the 2nd best performed in the competition two years and was 11th last year. They had some injury issues but mostly they suffered from poor structure and lack of support from their midfield. Cox and Pearce are a good 1-2 punch, their smalls seem predictable with Chapman, Ryan and Clark. There is not a lot of set up coming from back there.
The midfield is elite at the top end, Brayshaw and Serong are very good players. It gets thin after that. O’Meara was very good in patches last year and then you have Will Brodie who looked like the all time bargain recruit the year before but turned back into a potato last year. The rest of the midfield lack consistency and impact leaving the job to too few too often.
The forward line is not their greatest concern. Fyfe takes a great mark (unfortunately has a set shot that rivals Ty Zantuck). Amiss looks a great recruit and his impact last year probably should have seen him win the Rising Star. Luke Jackson found his way as the year went on and started to justify the stupid price they paid for him. Small forwards look like being Walters (who must be 40 this year) and Frederick who is great fun to watch. There is a the making of a very good forward line there but again depth does not exist.
The rucks are as good as anyone in the competition. Darcy and Jackson give them solid tap work and both are capable of making an impact up forward. The coach is a concern, after coming on strong, he has lost players to the eastern states and now leads a team with minimal depth and probably in need of a rebuild but the pressure for success will not allow it.
This feels like the same Freo we have know for all but a couple of years around the Ross Lyon period. They are soft front runners who rarely pressure their opposition at a high enough level. I don’t want to suggest there are built in their coaches image but… I remember him as a player. I think they arer a chance to drop even further this year. 14-17 for mine.