Dockers heed harsh lessons, upbeat for WA derby

Fremantle are full of confidence heading into the Western Derby against cross-town rivals West Coast despite a pair of heartbreaking defeats in South Australia, midfielder Hayden Young says.

The Dockers opened the season with three straight wins but are in danger of undoing their good work after coughing up late goals in consecutive losses to Carlton and Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

They enter the derby cauldron in round six against an Eagles side buoyed by their first win of the season, against Richmond last Sunday.

Fremantle could be boosted by the return of No.1 ruckman Sean Darcy from a knee injury and will start warm favourites in a designated away game at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

"The footy that we're playing at the moment gives us a lot of confidence and we certainly aren't feeling any pressure," Young told reporters on Monday.

"One thing that we spoke about during the week is we can't get caught up in wins and losses.

"You've just got to look at what you're doing on the field in terms of the brand and the system that we're playing.

Sean Darcy.
Sean Darcy (L) could be set for his long-awaited return in the derby.

"It's a long season and we're five rounds in. If we keep playing that sort of footy, I'm sure we'll win more than we lose."

Fremantle threw away a nine-point lead with seven minutes left against Port Adelaide last Saturday night and lost to Carlton the previous week in Gather Round when they conceded two final-minute goals in controversial circumstances.

Young said the experiences would serve as valuable lessons.

"We want to be in those positions now early in the season so that we can learn from it," he said.

"To go all the way you're going to have to learn from these hard lessons.

"It's not going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time.

"It's disappointing but we can take a lot of confidence out of those performances and hopefully learn a lot."

Darcy has not played since round 18 last season, when an ankle injury cut short his 2023 campaign.

But he is expected to be cleared to resume his partnership with versatile star Luke Jackson in the derby.

"Sean's a big unit and provides a lot of strength around the contest," Young said.

"He's a good stoppage player and he's really hard to move, whereas Luke is really dynamic at ground level.

"It also gives the opportunity for Luke to go down forward and provide an aerial threat, and we know how damaging he's been this year.

"So we look forward to having them both out there hopefully."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.


Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
AU$10
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
AU$5
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
AU$99
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

SEVEN DAYS FREE
Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store