K rock Football

Fyfe to leave crash and bash to teammates

Fremantle captain Nat Fyfel. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

FREMANTLE skipper Nat Fyfe says he’ll leave more of the bash and crash stuff to his teammates as he attempts to protect his battered body.

Fyfe is in the final stages of recovery from his fourth shoulder surgery.

All up in his decorated 173-game career Fyfe has undergone 17 operations – a consequence for being one of the AFL’s best ball contested beasts.

Fyfe is now 28 years old and knows he can’t be reckless in his attack on the ball.

The two-time Brownlow medallist says it’s important to let some of his teammates do more of the heavy lifting while he spends parts of games resting up forward.

“I think age and wisdom have taught me that I can’t bash and crash for 22 games,” Fyfe said.

“I managed to play 20 last year with a different philosophy on how I attack contested ball. Part of that is resting forward where there’s not as much contact.

“We’ve got players like Brett Bewley, Adam Cerra, Andrew Brayshaw, Darcy Tucker, those sort of guys who are moving through our midfield now with big developed bodies who can take the brunt of that load.

And players like Dave Mundy, Sonny Walters and myself can be a bit more sparing.”

Bewley played just seven games last year in his debut campaign, but Fyfe has been blown away by the 24-year-old’s efforts on the track this pre-season.

With Fremantle on the lookout for two new wingmen following the departures of Brad Hill (St Kilda) and Ed Langdon (Melbourne), Fyfe reckons Bewley is an early lock.

“He smashed our time trial, he’s in unbelievable nick,” Fyfe said.

“I think he’s got his name pencilled in round one for that wing position, and someone is going to have to knock him off for that.”

Another surprise option for the wing is forward Cam McCarthy.

New coach Justin Longmuir is keen to give McCarthy a refreshed role and said the wing might be a good fit.

“I think it’s super exciting,” Fyfe said of that possibility.

“Cam McCarthy is one of the best users by foot that we have on our team, so if we can release him up the field a little bit more and have him as the guy kicking the ball inside 50, I think that’s going to do good things for his game.

“I think he’ll still be a forward because he kicks goals for us, but having that flexibility to move up the ground will be a good thing.”

Walters sent a scare through the camp when he limped out of training with an ankle injury earlier in the week, but Fyfe said it wasn’t serious.

© AAP 2019