Sports broadcaster Neroli Meadows has given her Unconventional Preview of Fremantle’s upcoming season.
The diehard Docker from Collie, Western Australia joined Garry and Tim on SEN Breakfast and related her expectations on the back of a promising 2020.
Fremantle recovered from an 0-4 start to finish 12th with a 7-10 record under first-year coach Justin Longmuir.
Which player will be a surprise top five finisher in the best and fairest?
Meadows: “Not surprised by talent but surprised by actually getting a proper run at it, I’m going with Alex Pearce. He hasn’t played since Round 11, 2019.
“Those luscious long locks are going to help him stand out and get a few votes. He’s a star and I’m so excited to see him get a proper run at it.”
What will be the Dockers’ biggest distraction?
Meadows: “(Western Australia Premier) Mark McGowan and the potential border closures. For WA teams, that’s a lot.
"That’s still going to be hovering over them even if, fingers crossed, we don’t get any more border closures, just the knowledge that it could be coming.”
Which recruit excites you most?
Meadows: “I know he’s not a new recruit this year, but Michael Frederick. Last year he played a handful of games and the excitement he provided…
“He has got some serious talent, (and there’s) a smile on his face when he does it, too.
“These guys missed out on a bit of footy last year as well, with the other competitions not happening. I can’t wait to watch the development of ‘Rick’ as they call him.
Which player you’re unsure about will win you over?
Meadows: “(Adam) McPhee and Danyle Pearce back in the day were always mine, particularly Pearce. He never came good unfortunately, in my mind.
"The one I’m not sure about is more to do with not being sure how his body will hold up.
“Stephen Hill is one of the most underrated and underappreciated players as far as skill execution goes in the entire competition, but he just keeps getting niggly injuries that hang around.
“He’s a superstar when he’s fit and going, but we haven’t seen him fit and going for years.”
Who are the four players you’d invite to dinner, and why?
Meadows: “I’d love to learn a little bit more about a couple of the youngsters who are going to be stars.
“Liam Henry and Michael Frederick, I think in a couple of years’ time we’ll be saying ‘how good was it to watch them.’
“Michael Walters for the laughs, the entertainment, the dance moves, it’s never boring when he’s around.
“And I’ve put down Nat Fyfe to pick up the tab at the end of the night.”
If you could have a chat with the coach, what would your one suggestion be?
Meadows: “Get inspired by the girls! We were robbed of a flag last year, we’re four from five this year with a percentage of 225.
“Go and find out what they’re doing well, and replicate it!”