New home bolsters Dockers’ hopes for 2017

Fremantle defender Lee Spurr hopes the club’s recent move to their new home in Cockburn will help them banish the demons of 2016 and reach the finals this season.


The Dockers went from minor premiers in 2015 to easy beats last season, winning just four games for the year in one of their worst AFL seasons.

Coach Ross Lyon overhauled the ageing list during the summer and the Dockers face an uphill battle to play finals this season.

But defender Lee Spurr remains optimistic about what the team can achieve.

Recruits Brad Hill, Joel Hamling, Cam McCarthy and Shane Kersten have injected vital talent into the Dockers’ line-up, while the club moved into its new $109 million training and administration base in Cockburn this week.

Spurr compared it to moving into a new house and he believes the fresh start will serve the team well.

The club’s dedicated 6000sqm is about three times the size of their old home of Fremantle Oval.

The main oval at the new Cockburn facility features a GPS program that instantly shows where goal posts and ground markings need to go to mirror venues from all around Australia.

“We’ve got expectations on ourselves and we’re aiming to finish high and to play finals,” Spurr said on Tuesday.

“But we also understand that we’ve got a young list that’s transitioning.

“We’ve got a group with players that are still learning their craft, and this facility is going to give us the best opportunity to fast track those young players and to get the most out themselves.

“That’s what’s the most exciting bit.”

Fremantle’s preparations have ramped up ahead of Sunday’s pre-season clash with arch rivals West Coast in Geraldton.

New skipper Nat Fyfe is a chance to feature after recovering from the broken leg that ruined his 2016 campaign.

Spurr said the club’s new training base had given the players a big buzz.

“It’s the sheer size and scope of everything, and the gym really stands out,” Spurr said.

“It’s almost four times the size of our old gym and we can all get in there and work together at the same time, which is a really big boost for us.

“It helps build unity and ensures we can work hard together.

“And it’s just fantastic that we can adjust the oval to any sized ground in Australia and adjust it to how we’re going to play that week. It really is fantastic and it’s a great opportunity for us.”