THERE is growing excitement at Fremantle around dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe’s prospects in 2024 and his ability to help fix the team’s onball issues after returning to “the Fyfey of old” this summer.

Fyfe, who has trained as a permanent midfielder this pre-season after moving forward in recent years, has shone in several match practice sessions and has a clean bill of health after two seasons severely impacted by injuries.

Teammate Jordan Clark said he was excited to play alongside Fyfe more after running out together just 16 times across the past two seasons, with the former captain’s return to the midfield generating excitement among the group.

“Yes, without a doubt. “I recall sitting in Fyfey’s house after I got home, having a cup of tea or coffee, and telling him how excited I was to play with him because of his skill set and style of play,” Clark remarked on Thursday.

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He constantly tells me that we haven’t played many games together, which is unfortunate because he still struggles with his body.

“The way he’s gone about it this pre-season, it’s really exciting to be around and he seems to be back to the ‘Fyfey’ of old and I can’t wait to run out there with him and see him at work.”

While club champion and All-Australian Caleb Serong enjoyed an outstanding 2023 and fellow vice-captain Andrew Brayshaw hit strong form at stages, the Dockers’ midfield didn’t fire collectively, particularly in the centre square.

The team ranked 16th for average centre clearances (11.1) and looked to add size to the engine room late in the year when defender Hayden Young was redeployed with good results, setting up his move into the middle more permanently this year.

Clark hoped that Fyfe could also give the team a physical edge in the middle after putting all his stoppage weapons on display this pre-season.

“[He’s shown] all the stuff that Fyfey does and we all know him for,” Clark said

“He’s an absolute beast around the contest and with his aerial stuff. He’s physically gifted, he’s a big man, he’s powerful and he just adds a different dimension to us.

“It’s something we’ve probably missed around our midfield group with him not being in there. His knowledge of the game to be able to pass it on and help all those boys learn is amazing, so he’s been very important for us.”

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