THERE can be no escaping the symmetry of Ross Lyon’s arrival and departure at Fremantle.
He walked into the club after the silent assassination of Mark Harvey – now he walks out after the same treatment.
AFL football is a ruthless business.
Former Freo skipper Matthew Pavlich once recalled being told Harvey was gone, and Lyon would be his new coach.
When former Dockers footy boss Chris Bond asked him if he was happy with the move, Pavlich bluntly replied: “Yeah. I am.”
What will Nat Fyfe and the rest of the Dockers players, who clearly revere Lyon and his methods, be thinking now?
How do we encapsulate Lyon’s eight years in Perth?
He brought belief to a club that had become accustomed to failure.
He brought the manic defensive pressure he helped craft at Sydney and St Kilda.
Between 2013 and 2015 he gave the club a swagger it hadn’t seen before and hasn’t had since.
Fremantle went from perennial also-rans to a club good enough to win a final in Geelong.
If you want to see the sort of intensity Lyon brought to Fremantle, watch their preliminary final win over Sydney at Subiaco in 2013.
It’s one of the scariest performances ever unleashed – the Dockers battered Sydney mentally and physically with a seething attack on ball and man.
Not only couldn’t Sydney play that night, they could barely breathe.
But the Lyon way took a toll – on players, who looked spent after 2015, and on staff.
As a player Lyon was one of the great purveyors of the bump, and he dealt out a few during his playing days with Fitzroy.
One suspects he could be just as concussive with his words.
In the end though, it was Fremantle’s board that dealt the fiercest shirtfront of all – consigning a man who thought he was destined to be the club’s first premiership coach to the scrapyard.
Will anyone over east take a punt and make Ross the boss again?
It’ll be a brave move.
And what will happen to Fremantle?
Whoever takes over will inherit a disaffected supporter base hungrier than ever for the ultimate success.
It feels like ground zero for a club in crisis.
But it’s also a new dawn in the port city.