Finals miss to 'burn' Dockers despite win over Hawks

Jonathan Di Maggio/AAP PHOTOS

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir hopes missing the AFL finals "burns" his players as they seek to use a positive end to a disappointing season as a springboard into next year.

The Dockers rounded out their 2023 campaign with a 37-point win over Hawthorn in a dead-rubber fixture at the MCG on Saturday.

Tough midfielder Caleb Serong (32 disposals, nine clearances) led from the front and young spearhead Jye Amiss kicked three goals in the 14.9 (93) to 8.8 (56) triumph.

A third win from their last five games left Fremantle in 14th position with a 10-13 record in a big step backwards after they surged to a semi-final appearance last year.

"We didn't want to be missing out on finals when we started, so hopefully it burns everyone at the club," fourth-year Dockers coach Longmuir said.

"To me it feels like we've stepped back to the end of 2021 (when) we were really young and were able to get another pre-season and consolidate and bounce.

"I feel like we're in that position again.

"We didn't enter the season aiming to miss the finals - we wanted to build on last year - but I think there's been a lot of positives in the frustration."

Serong has been a shining light this season and starred against Hawthorn, with Andrew Brayshaw (33 disposals, three clearances) and Hayden Young (22, five) also influential through the midfield.

Tom Emmett (17 touches, two goals) impressed in his second senior game and Amiss took his season tally to 41 majors, making the 20-year-old spearhead the youngest Docker in history to boot 40 or more in a single year.

Michael Walters and Josh Treacy (two goals each) also hit the scoreboard for Fremantle, who kicked away to a 29-point half-time lead with five goals to two in the second term.

Hawthorn veteran Luke Breust kicked two goals and James Sicily stood firm in defence for three quarters, but the skipper couldn't drag his side over the line when swung forward for the final term.

Will Day (30 disposals, six clearances), Conor Nash (23, five) and James Worpel (23, four) also worked hard for the Hawks (7-16), who will finish the season in 16th position.

"We didn't have the energy and the spark," Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell said.

"We knew against Freo it was going to be a grind and we were going to have to work hard for a long time to break them down.

"We just couldn't do it today."