Bull­dogs to bite back

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Nico

THE 2017 WAFL sea­son fin­ished in dis­ap­point­ing fash­ion for the South Fremantle Foot­ball Club.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing the regular sea­son in sec­ond place for the sec­ond year run­ning, the Bull­dogs were one of the form teams head­ing into the fi­nals and a favourite to make the grand fi­nal.

Un­for­tu­nately they fell just short, knocked out by Su­bi­aco in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

South Fremantle will be fight­ing to make 2018 its year.

The new year brings a fresh face to the helm, with Dy­lan Main tak­ing the cap­taincy from Ryan Cook, who stepped down from the role af­ter six years.

For­mer Fremantle Docker Nick Suban was a huge sign­ing over the sum­mer, but the Bull­dogs will be feel­ing the loss of new Gee­long re­cruit Tim Kelly through the mid­field, as well as the re­tire­ment of de­fender Josh Pull­man.

Main ad­mit­ted last year’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal loss had been hard on the group.

“We felt we had so much more to give and played nowhere near our po­ten­tial, which makes it hurt that lit­tle bit more,” he said.

“We be­lieved we had the right play­ing group that could have gone fur­ther, how­ever it wasn’t meant to be and we now look for­ward to the up­com­ing sea­son and what we can ac­com­plish.

“If we are to go fur­ther this year, we need to work on what’s hin­dered us in the past.

“We need to start stand­ing up in the big games; a few too many times over the past cou­ple of sea­sons we have let big games slip or failed at cru­cial mo­ments.”

He said the play­ers were more ma­ture and more ca­pa­ble of be­ing a le­git­i­mate threat to the 2018 ti­tle.

“Af­ter fall­ing a game short the last cou­ple of sea­sons, I feel the play­ing group has gained a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence from those fi­nals se­ries and have learnt what is re­quired to win them,” he said.

With a bye round one, South Fremantle kicks off sea­son 2018 at Fremantle Oval on April 7 against Su­bi­aco.

South Fremantle af­ter its 2017 qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal loss to Peel Thun­der.

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