Fremantle Women

Fremantle Women

Leagues Played
AFL Women 61
Related Teams


AFL Women 10/29 08:10 10 [15] Fremantle Women v Hawthorn Women [14] 49-44
AFL Women 10/22 04:10 9 [18] Sydney Women v Fremantle Women [17] 28-42
AFL Women 10/16 06:10 8 [17] Fremantle Women v Collingwood Women [4] 3-32
AFL Women 10/08 04:10 7 [2] Adelaide Women v Fremantle Women [17] 49-31
AFL Women 10/02 04:10 6 [17] Fremantle Women v Melbourne Women [4] 36-66
AFL Women 09/22 05:10 5 [13] West Coast Women v Fremantle Women [16] 23-26
AFL Women 09/17 04:05 4 [16] Fremantle Women v Carlton Women [12] 32-32
AFL Women 09/09 07:10 3 [5] Western Bulldogs Women v Fremantle Women [18] 23-20
AFL Women 09/03 03:40 2 [17] Fremantle Women v Geelong Women [8] 1-27
AFL Women 08/28 04:10 1 [15] Brisbane Women v Fremantle Women [15] 76-27
AFL Women 04/02 03:40 232 [1] Adelaide Women v Fremantle Women [5] 40-26
AFL Women 03/19 03:10 14 [4] North Melbourne Women v Fremantle Women [5] 31-69

The Fremantle Football Club, nicknamed the Dockers, is a professional Australian rules football club competing in the Australian Football League (AFL), the sport's elite competition. The team was founded in 1994 to represent the port city of Fremantle, a stronghold of Australian rules football in Western Australia. The Dockers were the second team from the state to be admitted to the competition, following the West Coast Eagles in 1987. Both Fremantle and the West Coast Eagles are owned by the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC), with a board of directors operating Fremantle on the commission's behalf.

Despite having participated in and won several finals matches, Fremantle is one of only three active AFL clubs not to have won a premiership (the others being Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney), though it did claim a minor premiership in 2015 and reach the 2013 Grand Final, losing to Hawthorn. High-profile players who forged careers at Fremantle include All-Australian Matthew Pavlich, Hall of Fame inductee Peter Bell, and dual Brownlow Medal winner Nat Fyfe, who captains the club under head coach Justin Longmuir. Originally based at Fremantle Oval, the club's training and administrative facilities are now located nearby at Cockburn ARC in Cockburn Central, whilst its home ground is the 60,000-capacity Perth Stadium in Burswood.

Fremantle has also fielded a women's team in the AFL Women's league since the competition's inception in 2017. They are coached by Trent Cooper and captained by Hayley Miller. Their most successful season was the 2020 season, in which the team was undefeated, but was ultimately cancelled without a premiership awarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Early years (1993–2006)

Negotiations between East Fremantle and South Fremantle to enter into the VFL as a merged club began in 1987. However, due to an exclusive rights clause granted to the West Coast Eagles this would be impossible until the end of the 1992 season. Further applications were made by the clubs to join but their model was out of favour with the West Australian Football Commission.

The AFL announced on 14 December 1993 that a new team, to be based in Fremantle, would enter the league in 1995, with the tentative name of "Fremantle Sharks." The licence cost $4 million. The names "Fremantle Football Club", "Fremantle Dockers" and the club colours of purple, red, green and white were announced on 21 July 1994. The decision to base the new club in Fremantle was primarily due to the long history of Australian rules football in Fremantle. However, it was not represented in a national club competition until 1995, eight years after the first expansion of the then Victorian Football League into Western Australia in 1987 with the creation of the West Coast Eagles. Their first training session was held on 31 October 1994 at Fremantle Oval.

The team endured some tough years near the bottom of the premiership ladder, until they finished fifth after the home and away rounds in 2003 and made the finals for the first time. The elimination final against eighth-placed Essendon at Subiaco Oval was then the club's biggest ever game, but ended in disappointment for the home team, with the finals experience of Essendon proving too strong for the young team. They then missed making the finals in the following two seasons, finishing both years with 11 wins, 11 losses and only 1 game outside the top eight.

After an average first half to the 2006 AFL season, Fremantle finished the year with a club-record nine straight wins to earn themselves third position at the end of the home and away season with a club-best 15 wins. In the qualifying final against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, the Dockers led for the first three-quarters before being overrun by the Crows. The following week saw the club win its first finals game in the semi-final against Melbourne at Subiaco Oval. The club subsequently earned a trip to Sydney to play in its first ever preliminary final, where they lost by 35 points at ANZ Stadium to the Sydney Swans.

Recent history (2007–present)

In 2007, following Chris Connolly's resignation midway through the season, Mark Harvey, a three-time premiership player with Essendon, was appointed caretaker coach for the club. During his seven matches for 2007, Harvey coached the Dockers to four wins and three losses. The club came 11th that year, and Harvey was appointed full-time coach at the end of the season. The following year saw the club slump to 14th.

In Round 15, 2009, Fremantle recorded the lowest score in its history and of the 2000s, scoring only 1.7 (13) to the Adelaide Crows' 19.16 (130). It scored just one point in the first half and the only goal scored came in the third quarter.

After finishing sixth in 2010, the club played in the finals for the first time since 2006. The team played Hawthorn at Subiaco Oval, and despite being considered underdogs, went on to win by 30 points. The win came from strong performances from Luke McPharlin and Adam McPhee who limited the impact of Lance Franklin and Luke Hodge, respectively. The team's second ever win in a finals match qualified them for a semi-final to be played against the Geelong Cats at the MCG the following week. In a one-sided contest, the Dockers lost by 69 points.

The 2011 season saw Fremantle lose just once in the first six rounds before ending the year in 11th position after losing their final seven games. Fremantle's collapse was considered a result of a heavy injury count that began in the pre-season.

In September 2011, Mark Harvey was sensationally sacked by the club in favour of still-contracted St Kilda coach Ross Lyon.

Fremantle qualified for the finals in 2012 after finishing in seventh position. In their elimination final against Geelong, the Dockers won their first ever finals game away from home with a 16-point victory at the MCG behind Matthew Pavlich's six goals. Fremantle subsequently lost to the Crows in Adelaide the following week, ending their finals campaign.

In 2013, Fremantle finished the home-and-away season in third position with a club-best 16 wins. In their qualifying final against the Cats in Geelong, the Dockers produced a first-round upset with a 15-point victory to advance through to a home preliminary final. In the preliminary final, the Dockers defeated the reigning premiers, the Sydney Swans, by 25 points to advance to their maiden AFL Grand Final. In the 2013 grand final, the Dockers were defeated by Hawthorn by a margin of 15 points.

In 2014, the club reached the finals for the third successive year with a top-four finish and 16 wins, but despite earning a double chance, they were knocked out after losses to Sydney away and Port Adelaide at home. Nat Fyfe was awarded the Leigh Matthews Trophy for winning the AFL Players' Association MVP award.

In 2015, the club were crowned minor premiers for the first time in their history, earning their first piece of silverware with the McClelland Trophy. However, the club failed to convert this into a grand final appearance, losing to Hawthorn by 27 points in its home preliminary final. Fremantle ended their season with Nat Fyfe becoming the club's first Brownlow Medalist.

Season 2016 marked Matthew Pavlich's final season in the AFL, as Fremantle missed the finals following a 10-game losing streak to start the year, finishing in 16th position with just four wins.

Ross Lyon was sacked as coach on 20 August 2019 after the club failed to qualify for the finals. He was replaced by Justin Longmuir.

Longmuir's first season was during the Covid 19 affected 2020 AFL season which was shortened from 22 matches to 17. Fremantle would lose their first four games before finding form and finish 12th on the ladder with 7 wins and 10 losses.

The 2022 AFL season would prove to be a breakout year for the Dockers who qualified for finals for the first time since the 2015 AFL season and were in contention for a top 4 finish throughout the season before finishing fifth with fifteen wins six losses and one draw. Fremantle's return to finals saw them play the Western Bulldogs in an elimination final at Optus Stadium. Fremantle were dominated in the early stages of the game with the Bulldogs holding a 42-1 point lead at the nine minute mark of the second term. Fremantle would go on to kick 11 of the last 13 goals to win the game by 13 points. Fremantle next faced Collingwood in a semi-final at the MCG in front of a crowd of over 90,000, losing the game by 20 points.