Dual Brownlow medallist and Fremantle great Nat Fyfe has stepped down as club captain.
The midfielder revealed to the playing group on Tuesday he would be relinquishing the role he has held for six years, making him the second-longest serving skipper in Dockers history behind Matthew Pavlich.
Fyfe has battled injuries over the last few seasons, playing just seven games in 2022 and a combined over the two seasons prior. A move to the forward line looms.
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The 31-year-old has also stepped away from the leadership group.
“The decision was tough. It has been something I’ve known for the last three or four weeks,” Fyfe said.
“Last year was a challenging year for me individually, but a great year for the club and it started to pave the way for a transition.
“Intuitively, I knew that it was an exciting opportunity for the club for me to step aside and let someone else come through.
“It took a while for the emotions and my mind to line up with my intuition, it feels like I was letting go of a dream in some ways, but once I connected with that feeling, it opens up the possibility for so much more.
“I’m optimistic about what this transition can do for the club.”
While the move marks the end of an era for the Dockers, it’s a promising time for the club, who last year returned to the finals for the first time since 2015.
Due to injury, Fyfe did not play in either of their 2022 finals games – remarkably he has not played a final since winning his first Brownlow Medal in 2015.
His replacement is unknown but vice-captain Alex Pearce, who filled in during Fyfe’s absence last season, is the leading contender. The defender sat next to coach Justin Longmuir, with Fyfe on the other side, in the team photo taken last month.
Midfield young guns Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong would appear more likely to get the nod in future seasons.
“The scenario around the leadership and the captain this year is making sure what’s best for Nathan going forward and whether the burden of being the captain is good for his footy,” Longmuir said SEN last month.
“The amount of injuries he had last year, that was a really tough season on him as a player and as a skipper, so we need to make sure we get that right and we probably need a little bit more time to work through that in terms of seeing how he tracks through the pre-season.”
Story Credit: foxsports.com.au