Fyfe eyes off AFL flag after monster deal
Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe insists he never seriously considered leaving the Dockers, and he’s optimistic he will be part of the club’s first AFL premiership.
Fyfe ended months of speculation on Monday by re-signing with the Dockers until the end of 2023.
The six-year deal is the longest contract extension in Fremantle’s history, and is believed to be worth about $1.2 million a season.
Fyfe, as a restricted free agent, could have earned far more on the open market.
And the 2015 Brownlow medallist could have even pushed for a bigger deal at the Dockers, according to his manager Jason Dover.
Staying put. Image: Getty
But Fyfe accepted less money at the Dockers in order to leave the club with enough salary cap room to cobble together a squad capable of winning a flag.
Fyfe’s re-signing means the attention will now intensify on out-of-contract Richmond star Dustin Martin.
Martin could earn upwards of $1.3 million a season at a rival club, with North Melbourne reportedly in the mix.
Earlier this season, Fyfe was strongly linked with a multi-million dollar move to either St Kilda or Carlton.
But the 25-year-old insists he never seriously contemplated leaving Fremantle.
Fyfe said the delay in re-signing was because of negotiations about the length of the deal, rather than him exploring other offers.
“All the speculation floating around was mostly untrue, and it was quite interesting to watch,” Fyfe said on Monday.
“There’s no other place I’d want to play my footy.”
Although the prospect of playing regularly at the MCG would be enticing for most AFL players, Fyfe said Fremantle’s move to the new $1.2 billion Perth Stadium next season was enough to whet his appetite.
But it’s the lure of premiership success that is motivating Fyfe the most.
The Dockers entered a rebuilding phase early last season after their premiership window slammed shut.
Fyfe has been buoyed by the emergence of players like Sean Darcy, Darcy Tucker, Griffin Logue, Brennan Cox, Connor Blakely, Ethan Hughes, Ed Langdon, and Lachie Weller over the past 18 months.
“I’m very keen to be a part of Fremantle’s first premiership,” Fyfe said.
“It’s a lofty, ambitious goal. But we’re pretty confident we’ve got the right people in the right places.”
Fyfe’s recent injury history had raised doubts about whether he could ever recapture the dominant form he displayed in 2015.
The 132-game veteran has broken his left leg twice since then, and also battled a sternum injury this year.
But he’s confident his body is in good shape to hold up over the next six years.
“Roger Federer just won Wimbledon at 35. My hope is I can still be in pretty good condition at 31, 32,” Fyfe said.
“The year off I had no doubt will help me in the back end of this contract phase.”