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Buti's Call: If only the stars aligned and this Freo team could front a grand final

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05.06.2019

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fremantle Dockers’ participation in the AFL.

Unfortunately for Dockers supporters like myself, we have not as yet celebrated a premiership.

We did go close in 2013, when the Dockers went down to Hawthorn in the grand final by 15 points – Hawthorn 11.11 (77) def Fremantle 8.14 (62).

If only... Tony Buti submits the team he wishes took on the Hawks at the 2013 Grand Final. Credit:Paul Kane

But according to official statistician Champion Data, after analysing both teams’ shots on goal the Dockers should have won by six points – Fremantle 14.10 (94) to Hawthorn 13.10 (88).

But it was not to be.

The Hawthorn team was a great one – their 2013 flag was the first of three consecutive premierships, defeating Sydney Swans in 2014 and West Coast Eagles in 2015.

The Dockers team was talented and played a style of football that placed incredible pressure on the opposition.

But it was not enough on the day, in large part due to wayward kicking for goal, as analysis from Champion Data reaffirms.

The elusive first premiership remains. I think the players I have picked below to make up what is in my opinion the best all-star Dockers team over the first 25 years of the club in the AFL could break the premiership drought. If only all these players could play together.

In selecting my best 22 in the history of the Dockers, my assessment is based on the performances in the Fremantle jumper, not what was achieved while playing for another team. I also selected players in the position they played for the Dockers but with most all-star teams, there are some exemptions to the rule.

Roger Hayden in flight for the Dockers.Credit:Tony Ashby

Backs: Roger Hayden, Stephen O’Reilly, Shane Parker

Roger Hayden, (2002-2011), 128 games: Was a reliable skilful defender who was equally comfortable shutting down dangerous opposing forwards and weaving through defensive congestion to set up an attack from deep........

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