The Dockers’ horrible 2020 … and it’s only February

Unlucky Fremantle defender Joel Hamling. Photo: Getty
Unlucky Fremantle defender Joel Hamling. Photo: Getty

WHO’D be a Fremantle supporter?

The Dockers have been battered from post to pillar so far this pre-season – and there’s still more than a month to go before the real action starts.

The carnage started in December when evergreen midfielder David Mundy broke his leg … riding a pushbike.

The hits kept coming today, firstly with a strangely worded press release regarding defender Joel Hamling.

Hamling underwent surgery on his injured ankle on Monday.

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The Fremantle statement revealed Hamling’s ankle had been dislocated when he landed awkwardly at training last week.

“While we are taking a cautious approach, we are confident that Joel will still play a significant number of games this season,” general manager of football Peter Bell said.

Make of that what you will.

With defender Alex Pearce, in his own words, “tracking pretty slowly” from an ankle fracture suffered last season and unavailable for Round 1, the Dockers backline is already in disarray.

Justin Longmuir’s hair has reportedly become even greyer this pre-season.

Then, an hour after the Hamling news, another press release had new club CEO Simon Garlick explaining away an operating loss of more than $1.6 million in 2019.

Two of the reasons for the loss were cited as “a decrease in net membership revenue” and a “restructure of club personnel”.

All this, of course, comes on the back of the news revealed last month that Jesse Hogan would be stepping away from the club indefinitely to deal with mental health issues.

You don’t envy the task before Justin Longmuir.

Turning around Fremantle’s fortunes was going to be difficult enough even with all his best talent on the park.

The prospect of starting a season with Hamling, Pearce and Hogan all unavailable for selection must fill even those who bleed purple with a sense of dread.

Jesse Hogan. Photo: Getty

There’s a lot of negativity around the port.

So you really have to hand it to the Dockers for making their two best players available for the AFL State of Origin bushfire relief match next Friday night.

Dockers’ guns Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters will suit up for the All Stars in the clash.

A serious injury to either one would probably kill the Dockers’ season – not to mention supporter morale – before its even started.

It’s a gutsy move and one the club, and both players, should take a bow for.

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