Season 8 AFLW preview: Fremantle

SEASON 7 was a horror one for Fremantle, largely due to its almost unbelievable bad luck with injuries. Though the Dockers managed to stabilise as the season went on, some disappointing early losses, combined with an ever-growing medical room meant they never really had a chance to challenge for the flag.

Though Fremantle ended the year in 12th after being 17th heading into the final fortnight, two wins in the last two rounds saw the Dockers come away with some momentum as they leapfrogged five other teams ahead of what would be a much needed extended off-season break.


#2 Kiara Bowers
#3 Emma O’Driscoll
#4 Angela Stannett
#5 Sarah Verrier
#6 Madeleine Scanlon
#7 Nikki Nield (nee Gore)
#8 Dana East
#9 Gabby O’Sullivan
#10 Aine Tighe
#11 Mikayla Morrison
#12 Ebony Antonio
#13 Makaela Tuhakaraina
#14 Orlagh Lally
#15 Tara Stribley
#16 Serena Gibbs
#17 Roxanne Roux
#18 Philipa Seth
#19 Hayley Miller
#20 Jae Flynn
#21 Mim Strom
#22 Airlie Runnalls
#23 Joanne Cregg
#24 Sarah Wielstra
#25 Megan Kauffman
#26 Tahleah Mulder
#28 Mikayla Hyde
#29 Ariana Hetherington
#30 Jess Low
#32 Laura Pugh
#33 Amy Mulholland
#50 Emmelie Fiedler


In: Serena Gibbs, Jae Flynn, Joanne Cregg, Tahleah Mulder, Emmelie Fiedler, Ariana Hetherington
Out: Matilda Sergeant, Bianca Webb, Kara Antonio, Janelle Cuthbertson, Amy Franklin, Tahlia Read


Round 1: vs. West Coast @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Round 2: vs. Collingwood @ Victoria Park
Round 3: vs. Hawthorn @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Round 4: vs. Essendon @ Windy Hill
Round 5: vs. Richmond @ Ikon Park
Round 6: vs. North Melbourne @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Round 7: vs. Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium
Round 8: vs. St Kilda @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Round 9: vs. Melbourne @ Casey Fields
Round 10: vs. Sydney @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval


  • Elite midfield
  • Balanced lineup
  • Speed and Power features
  • Unpredictability

Fremantle still has all the hallmarks of a premiership contender, even with losing bookends of Gemma Houghton and Janelle Cuthbertson over the past two seasons. The Dockers might head into Season 8 with an air of unpredictability due to having new coach and former player Lisa Webb at the helm, as well as a host of long-term injured stars returning.

On-field, the Dockers have an elite midfield. Any side that has a combination with the ilk of Kiara Bowers and Hayley Miller is going to be a problem, and with heir apparent Dana East getting better and better, and a host of other developing talents, it is hard to knock the Dockers’ engine room. With speed and power the feature, Fremantle is a powder keg of excitement ready to explode in Season 8.

The introduction of Joanne Cregg and Ariana Hetherington as athletic midfield and ruck options respectively, and one of the more underrated rucks in the competition in Mim Strom, Fremantle is a side that could very well be challenging anyone on its day. Webb spoke about versatility in the preseason and the Dockers certainly have that across the board, with the injuries forcing players to play in multiple positions and leave them in a better position than before.


  • How will the loss of Janelle Cuthbertson affect the Dockers?
  • Will the club remain injury free in Season 8?

Fremantle might be back to its best in Season 8 but no doubt there will still be some nerves for Dockers fans to ensure there are not repeats of Season 7 in terms of injury issues. So far so good with only Mikayla Morrison and Aine Tighe (both ACL injuries) the sole inactive players. Staying injury free is crucial to Fremantle remaining a premiership contender.

From a personnel perspective, the loss of Cuthbertson will be a huge one considering a like-for-like replacement was not really found over the off-season. The Dockers are well-balanced from half-back to attack, with just that dominant key defender being the one question mark against the premiership contenders.


While Bowers is a past league best and fairest winner, her partner-in-crime and skipper Miller is one who is right in the hunt for the award. A contested ball-winner with an ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard, there is not much Miller cannot do. Boasting incredible consistency across her career, Miller is a balance of hardness and skill.


East had an impressive debut season last year, but is ready to take the next step. Adding that additional pace to the midfield, she works well with Bowers and Miller, and can win her own ball on the outside as well as inside. If she can provide some goal-scoring pressure on opposition sides as well as her ball-winning ability, then she will take her game to another level.


Fremantle is a dark horse in the premiership race. Even with an injury-stricken season, the Dockers showed their competitiveness throughout Season 7 so with a full bill of health, will be a real worry for any side.. Expect the Dockers to be a top four contender, with a minimium of finals, especially with how well they play at home.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments