Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has jumped to the defence of Nat Fyfe and insists his influential star will remain as captain of the Dockers going forward.
The Dockers are priced at 11/10 to finish in the top eight of the AFL this season and have made a strong start to the campaign despite being without their leader.
Fyfe saw his 2021 campaign cut short after being told he needed a shoulder reconstruction. Then after a number of issues during the off-season he finally looked to be closing in on a return to action for the start of 2022.
A back issue ruined that and after undergoing another small procedure Fyfe is battling back once again. He could be out for up to eight weeks.
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There have been some calls from media pundits for Fyfe to hand over the captaincy to Andrew Brayshaw. They claim that the captain needs to be on the pitch leading.
However Longmuir says they do not see what goes on behind the scenes and he is delighted with the work Fyfe is putting in despite not playing.
Longmuir salutes Fyfe
"I don't buy into that," Longmuir told Channel Seven. "Nathan gets criticised on all parts of his game and all parts of his leadership.
"The thing I'm seeing from Nathan inside the four walls of the football club is he's bringing along these young leaders really well and allowing them to develop under his tutelage.
"Nathan is our captain and that will stay the same."