Fremantle Dockers coach Justin Longmuir says club has been too impatient by trading in ‘big names’

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Braden QuartermaineThe West Australian
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Justin Longmuir.
Camera IconJustin Longmuir. Credit: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir believes the Dockers have been too impatient throughout their 27-year history by turning to big-name recruits for a “quick fix”, saying it is the national draft that will ultimately deliver success.

Longmuir, himself a prized draft pick at No.2 in 1998, played 139 games for the Dockers from 1999-2007 alongside a series of high-profile recruits including Tony Modra, Peter Bell, Trent Croad, Jeff Farmer, Des Headland and Josh Carr.

Fremantle have traded in 13 players since bottoming out in 2016, with Bradley Hill, Shane Kersten, Cam McCarthy, Brandon Matera and Jesse Hogan no longer at the club.

Longmuir also spent a year with the Dockers’ recruiting department in 2008 when they laid the foundation for their most successful period under Ross Lyon by taking five players in the national draft who would be part of their 2013 grand final team.

He vowed to “stick the path this time”.


“We probably have got a little bit impatient in the past and gone a little bit too early at times to try and get a bit of a quick fix,” Longmuir told 3AW.

“You can fall in the boat of going a little bit too early with the trades and getting big names in and I think we’ve probably tried to do that a few times throughout our history and it’s probably set us back.

“The important thing to remember is we want to build sustained success and that’s usually done through the draft and bringing a core group of players together through the draft.

“We don’t want to be one hit wonders. We don’t want to climb up the ladder and then drop down like we probably have in the past a little bit too quickly.”

The Dockers added Gold Coast’s Will Brodie, 23, and Geelong’s Jordan Clark, 21, during the trade period and have picks 6, 8 and 19 in next month’s national draft. It will take their number of top-10 selections to eight since 2016.

Jordan Clark should get more opportunity at Fremantle.
Camera IconJordan Clark should get more opportunity at Fremantle. Credit: Geelong Advertiser, Justin Benson-Cooper / The West Australian

“It’s important we stay the course, draft good character kids that want to stay and be a part of something special,” Longmuir said.

“So we’ll continue to do that this year. We are after sustained success and that’s usually brought about through the draft and adding bits and pieces later down the track. And we’re not quite there yet.

“I think the players that we’ve brought in through the trade period this year really fit our age profile and will be with us hopefully for years to come.

“Sometimes these things are a bit of a slow burn and take a little bit of time. We’re going to stick the path this time.”

Longmuir said 195cm East Perth key forward Jye Amiss, who kicked an accurate 51.15 in the WAFL colts this season, was “in the mix” for the Dockers’ early selections along with other local products.

“It’s a pretty strong draft from what I hear from the lads, especially early in the draft. I think it evens out a little bit post pick 10, 15,” he said.

“But there’s going to be plenty to choose from. So he’ll be one of a number of guys we’ll look at.”

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