Nat Fyfe may be the Fremantle Dockers’ biggest star but footy pundits have taken aim at one aspect of his game this season.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir doesn’t seem too concerned by captain Nat Fyfe’s recent yips in front of goal.
The dual Brownlow medallist has put 1.12 on the scoreboard in five games this season.
But Longmuir is convinced it’s only a matter of time until Fyfe’s shots start going through between the big sticks.
“There’s no other fix, bar from just keep practising,” he said. “I think he’s improved his kicking over the last couple of years, especially his field kicking. He rarely misses a target.
“But I’ve got no issues with his appetite to get better. He probably has more set shots and more shots on goal than anyone else in our side.
“I’ve got no doubt that if he keeps putting himself in dangerous positions and creating shots on goal, they will start going through.”
Fyfe kicked 0.4 in the Dockers’ 51-point win over North Melbourne on Saturday night. That followed the 0.6 he contributed in the Round 4 win over Hawthorn. The only other time he has hit the scoreboard this season was in Round 2 against Greater Western Sydney, when he booted 1.2.
All three of those games were played at Optus Stadium.
He didn’t trouble scorers in either of the Dockers’ two away games, against Adelaide and Melbourne.
But Longmuir isn’t reading much into Fyfe’s current run of inaccuracies.
“There’s probably a couple today where he could have taken an extra step or an extra five metres on the shot on the run,” he said after the win against the Roos.
“He might have just rushed a couple of them a bit more than he had to. I don’t really want to read too much into his goal kicking, because I don’t want to take any gloss off the rest of his game.
“His work around the contests, his work around the stoppages actually helped us win the game tonight.
“So I don’t want to take any gloss off his performance by talking about his goal kicking too much.”
Before Round 6 games were played on Sunday, seven players had kicked 10 points or more.
Six of them had also kicked 11 goals or more, with Fyfe’s teammate Michael Frederick also showing a trend of inaccuracies.
Greater Western Sydney’s Toby Greene had the most behinds, kicking 18.17, followed by Geelong’s Tom Hawkins (13.16), the Western Bulldogs’ Aaron Naughton (13.15), Carlton’s Harry McKay (22.14), Adelaide’s Taylor Walker (22.13) and Melbourne’s Kysaiah Pickett (11.10) made up the rest of the list.
The Bulldogs’ Josh Bruce (19.4), Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt (19.9) and the Gold Coast’s Ben King (16.6) led the list of the AFL’s best converters.