Dockers embrace unfashionable style

Fremantle are fast gaining a reputation for their unfashionable style of football, but coach Ross Lyon isn't all too fussed as long as his AFL team keep winning.

After seven rounds, the Dockers have established themselves as the best defensive side in the league, conceding just 72.6 points per game to build a 5-2 start to the year.

But their attack has failed to click so far, with Fremantle's average of 82.9 points per game ranking them 12th in the league.

Inaccuracy has been a major problem for the Dockers, but their defensive and stoppage-heavy tactics have also been criticised in some quarters.

The situation is reminiscent of 2005, when AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou labelled Sydney's game style as ugly.

The Swans ended up having the last laugh that year, with their tough and uncompromising methods helping them win the premiership.


Dockers' fans voiced their displeasure at Fremantle's stop-start style during Sunday's 40-point win over Port Adelaide.

But Lyon defended his tactics, saying it was important to shore up the club's defensive game plan before improving the attack.

"We'd love to be No.1 in both attack and defence but we'll start with defence," Lyon told Perth radio station 6PR.

"I don't know - our 55 entries and 27 shots on goals must be a bit different to everyone else's, so I'm not too fussed to be honest.

"We thought we took a real step forward on the weekend with our pressure, and creating turnovers.

"We kicked 2.8 in the first quarter. I'll take 10 shots on goal - we've just got to convert."

Fremantle's top-four hopes will receive a major test on Saturday when they take on Hawthorn (4-3) at Aurora Stadium.

Lyon said defender Adam McPhee would struggle to prove his fitness in time after injuring his calf against Port Adelaide.